May 27     

Today's quotation:

Would that there were an award for people who come to understand the concept of enough.  Good enough.  Successful enough.  Thin enough.  Rich enough.  Socially responsible enough.  When you have self-respect, you have enough.

Gail Sheehy

Today's Meditation:

I grew up thinking that things were never enough, especially things that I did.  I learned early that whatever I did was to be criticized, and I should have done more, or done better, or done less.  But now I'm able to say to someone who says "That's not enough" that yes, it is enough-- that's all they're getting.  I've weighed the options, I've looked at the possibilities, and I made a conscious decision that this is exactly what I want to contribute or achieve, and it's enough.

This is hard to do in some jobs.  One of the things that I hated more than anything else while teaching in public schools was the number of people who constantly said that we teachers weren't doing enough-- not enough for their kids, not enough for the school, not enough for the state.  We weren't working hard enough or smart enough.  The kids weren't getting enough.  But it wasn't true-- we were giving everything that we had, and then some, but people just wanted more.  It was infuriating.

Now that I've learned to respect myself more, I know when I've done well-- I'm a pretty good judge of my accomplishments, even though for the most part, I'm a bit over-critical of myself.  These days, if someone finds a legitimate problem with my work, I do my best to fix that problem.  But all the people who complain just for the sake of complaining can go complain to the wall for all I care.  I'm not going to let them make me feel bad when I've given much already.

Having healthy self-respect isn't not caring what other people think.  It's taking other people's complaints and criticisms with a grain or five of salt, and not allowing them to make us feel bad about ourselves.  I would much rather someone who's being unjustly critical leave a situation feeling bad about it than to feel bad myself, especially when I know that I've done exactly what I set out to do, and what I need to do.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people feel it's important to make others feel bad about themselves or the work they've done?

What are some of the strengths that healthy self-respect can instill in us?

How can we go about preserving our self-respect in the face of a lack of respect from others?

For further thought:

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

more on self-respect

 

  

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