August 19

That you may retain your self-respect,
it is better to displease the people
by doing what you know is right, than
to temporarily please them by doing
what you know is wrong.

William J.H. Boetcker


Today's Meditation:

I can't even begin to count how many times I've done things that I've thought were wrong just to please other people, just to fit in, just to make others think that I was somehow "cool."  The major problem always has been that I've had to live with my regret afterwards, knowing that I've done something that I knew was wrong before I ever did it.  Fortunately, it's something that I almost never do nowadays, for the price that I've paid in embarrassment and regret has been a very good teacher, and I hope to avoid both as much as I can in my life.

I think William is completely correct when he says "temporarily please them."  If someone is asking you to do something that he or she knows is wrong today, you can be sure that if you do it, there will be more similar requests in the future.  Today you may cover up the missing cash or hide the mistake of a co-worker, but what's that going to lead to next week?  And when we do something that we know is wrong, we also set ourselves up for having to lie about it somewhere down the road--something else that we know is wrong, but that we have to do to save face (or even more).

Our self-respect is a precious resource in this life of ours, and it can be lost cheaply, or maintained at what seems sometimes a high cost.  But anyone who asks you to do what you know is wrong and then decides to shun you when you refuse is not someone who is going to be good for us in the first place.

We maintain our self-respect with decisions, over and over again.  What we decide to do either strengthens or diminishes our self-respect, and it's much better to go after the long-term benefits of doing what we know is right than to go after the short-term benefits and resulting difficulties of doing what we know is wrong.

Questions to consider:

What are some of the other factors that go into making decisions to do things that we know are wrong?  How strongly do those factors influence us?

How might we clearly see what is right and wrong in any given situation?  What kinds of questions can we ask ourselves?

Think of a time when you've done something you knew was wrong?  How did it make you feel?  How might you have felt had you decided not to do it?

For further thought:

Self-respect cannot be hunted. It cannot be purchased.
It is never for sale. It cannot be fabricated out of public relations.
It comes to us when we are alone, in quiet moments, in quiet places,
when we suddenly realize that, knowing the good, we have done it;
knowing the beautiful, we have served it;
knowing the truth, we have spoken it.

Whitney Griswold

More on self-respect.


welcome page - contents - gallery - obstacles - quotations
 the people behind the words - our current e-zine
articles and excerpts - Daily Meditations, Year Two - Year Three

Sign up for your free daily spiritual or general quotation




We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!