self-love - self-respect

When you are content to be simply
yourself and don't compare or
compete, everyone will respect you.

Lao Tzu
Tao Te Ching

The poise of a plant, the bended tree recovering itself from the strong wind, the vital resources of every vegetable and animal, are also demonstrations of the self-sufficing, and therefore self-relying soul.  All history from its highest to its trivial passages is the various record of this power.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you would have your offspring be something in the world, teach them to depend on themselves.  Let each learn that it is by close and strenuous application each must rise-- that one must, in short, make oneself, and be architect of one's own fortune.


The highest manifestation of life consists in this: that a being governs its own actions. A thing which is always subject to the direction of another is somewhat of a dead thing.

Thomas Aquinas

Here must thou be, O man,
Strength to thyself — no helper hast thou here —
Here keepest thou thy individual state:
No other can divide with thee this work,
No secondary hand can intervene
To fashion this ability. 'Tis thine,
The prime and vital principle is thine
In the recesses of thy nature, far
From any reach of outward fellowship,
Else 'tis not thine at all.

William Wordsworth
The Prelude


The proverb warns that, "You should not bite the hand that feeds you."
But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.

Thomas Stephen Szasz


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I care for myself.  The more solitary, the more friendless,
the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.

Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre


Real adulthood is the result of two qualities:  self-discipline
and self-reliance.  The process of developing them together in
balance is called maturing.

J.W. Jepson


Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom,
and being one's own person is its ultimate reward.

Patricia Sampson

Associate with the noblest people you can find; read the best books;
live with the mighty.  But learn to be happy alone.  Rely upon your
own energies, and so not wait for, or depend on other people.

Thomas Davidson

This country [America] was not built by people who relied on
somebody else to take care of them. It was built by people
who relied on themselves, who dared to shape their own
lives, who had enough courage to blaze new trails--enough
confidence in themselves to take the necessary risks.

J. Ollie Edmunds

Nasreddin brought a bow and arrows with him to the country fair, and his students all came to see their teacher compete in the archery contest.  Like all other contestants, Nasreddin was given three shots at the target.  Before he took his first shot, Nasreddin put on the kind of hat a soldier wears and stood up very straight.  Then he pulled the bow back hard and fired.  Nasreddin missed the target completely, and the crowd laughed mightily at him.

Nasreddin picked up the bow once more and drew it back.  This time he used much less strength, and although the arrow flew straight at the target, it fell far short.

Nasreddin had only his third shot left.  He simply turned to face the target and fired the third arrow.  It hit dead center, and the whole crowd went crazy!  Everyone wanted to know how he made the last shot after not even having come close with the first two.

"I'll tell you," Nasreddin said.  "For the first shot, I was imagining I was a soldier and a terrible enemy faced me.  Fear caused the arrow to fly high over the target.  When I took the second shot, I was thinking like a man who had missed his first one and was so nervous he could not concentrate.  He was weak with worry, and the shot was weak, too."

Nasreddin paused.  Finally a courageous soul spoke up.  "And what about the third one?  Who fired that arrow?"

"Oh," said Nasreddin.  "That was me!"

traditional Sufi story


Over the years, Americans in particular have been all too willing to
squander their hard-earned independence and freedom for the illusion
of feeling safe under someone else's authority.  The concept of
self-sufficiency has been undermined in value over a scant few
generations.  The vast majority of the population seems to look
down their noses upon self-reliance as some quaint dusty relic,
entertained only by the hyper-paranoid or those hopelessly
incapable of fitting into mainstream society.

Cody Lundin
When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You
Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes

The best help that benevolence and philanthropy can give
is that which induces everybody to help himself.

Calvin Coolidge


If we expected self-reliance of family groups, if we expected hardiness
and resilience and initiative on the part of individuals, and if we rewarded
initiative instead of dependence on government, we would not only ameliorate
many of the family-related social problems we see at present, but we would
also reduce our vulnerability to terrorism. People who are hardy,
resilient, and self reliant are a lot harder to terrorize.

Bernard Levin


You can't hang around waiting for somebody else to pull your strings.
Destiny's what you make of it. You have to face whatever life throws
at you. And if it throws more than you'd like, more than you think you
can handle? Well then you just have to find the heroism within yourself
and play out the hand you've been dealt. The universe never sets a
challenge that can't be met. You just need to believe in yourself
in order to find the strength to face it.

Darren Shan
Hell's Heroes

When you stand and overcome a significant setback, you'll find an
increasing inner confidence and self-assurance that has been created
by conquering defeat. Absorbing and overcoming this kind of punishment
engenders a sober, steely toughness that results in a hardened sense of
independence and a personal belief that you can
take on anything, survive and win.

Bill Walsh


Depend not on another, but lean instead on yourself.
True happiness is born of self-reliance.

The Laws of Manu


Humility is the part of wisdom, and is most becoming in people.
But let no one discourage self-reliance; it is, of all the rest,
the greatest quality of true human strength.

Louis Kossuth

The difficulties, hardships and trials of life, the obstacles one encounters
on the road to fortune are positive blessings.  They knit the muscles
more firmly, and teach self-reliance.  Peril is the element
in which power is developed.

W. Matthews


Be independent of the good opinion of other people.

Abraham Maslow


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Self-reliance is only a part of the picture.  When we carry it
to the extreme, we cut ourselves off from others and
from the nourishment we need from them.

Melvyn Kinder

Rely upon yourself, trust yourself, and others will trust you
unquestioningly. . . .  For the self-helping person,
all doors are flung open.

Fred van Amburgh


Self-confidence without self-reliance is as useless as a cooking
recipe without food.  Self-confidence sees the possibilities of the
individual; self-reliance realizes them.  Self-confidence sees the angel
in the unhewn block of marble; self-reliance carves it out for oneself.

William G. Jordan

self-love - self-respect

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True self-reliance does not mean reliance on one's physical strength;
it means reliance on something mightier, something which is less
perishable. . . It means trusting in the spiritual.


Once you really know that nobody can take from you what
is really yours, you stop trying to protect it.

Theodora Wells


If you are an adult, you are responsible for your life and well-being.
No one owes you the fulfillment of your needs or wants; no one is
here on earth to serve you.  If you respect the principle of self-ownership,
you understand that no one else owns you and that you do not own
anyone else.  Only on this understanding can there be peace
on earth and good will among human beings.

Nathaniel Branden
Self-Esteem Every Day

Claiming self-reliance represents one of the most significant turning
points in a human being’s evolution.  It signals the crucial shift from
dependence on outer authority to reliance on inner knowing.  From
infancy you were taught that people outside you know more about
how you should live than you know.  Parents, elder siblings, teachers,
priests, and the government were supposedly all smarter than you; if
you want to be happy and successful, you must listen to what they tell
you to do.  Eventually each of us comes to the point where we realize
that how we were taught to live is not the way we were born to live.
Mega-successful British playwright Tom Stoppard wrote, “It’s the
best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought
you knew is wrong!”  At a crucial instant each of us starts trusting our
inner guidance more than others’ opinions or directives.

Alan Cohen
The Tao Made Easy


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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