How can we gain self-respect?
Question from the Internet:
“Abraham Heschel said, “Self-respect is the fruit of discipline, the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.” What are your thoughts on self-control, and do you view yourself as a good example?”
This notion is very true, and today e can clearly and sharply see why.
We have evolved into a globally integrated and completely interdependent world — within Nature’s fully integrated and interdependent system.
As long as we blindly and instinctively follow whatever our own inherently egocentric, self-serving, self-justifying and individualistic nature dictates, we behave and exist like cancer in such an integral system.
Thus, we all need to become selfless, unconditionally and mutually integrated parts of a single, living human “super-organism” where each individual has to find their most optimal, mutually responsible, and mutually complementary role and purpose.
This requires “saying no to oneself”, making calculations for the benefit of the whole collective above and against instinctive self-benefit.
But only when we set out to exist and behave this way do we start to see how impossible such selfless and altruistic existence is, how strong and shrewd our instinctive ego is to prevent us from achieving this crucially important, Nature-like human integration.
So if we truly want to behave like it is described in the notion from the question, we need a special, purposeful and highly practical method in a specifically organized and conducted human environment. There we can practice self-annulment towards others and thinking and acting for the sake of others instead of thinking and calculating everything only for ourselves.
And as we gradually recognize our ego resisting — provoking it like drawing a snake out of its hiding — we receive the chance to control and harness the incredible and irrepressible power of our egotistic desires and aspirations for the sake of others.
The method allows us to draw forces and templates from Nature’s all-encompassing system to refine and upgrade our inherent nature and find ways of balancing and correctly using our egos.
Personally, I have been a member of such a community for over 15 years, and I hope I can provide a positive example to the others who also participate in this effort to change and upgrade ourselves to become healthy cells of that single human “super-organism”. This is a positive example other people, who are not yet acting for such an overall purpose, probably would not notice or even understand since their aspirations and calculations are still in the realm of instinctive human behaviour.