Fall 2012 Archive

‎Why We Shout In Anger

Posted November 6, 2012 By Mark

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“Why We Shout In Anger”

A traveling master came across a group of family members shouting in anger at each other. Smiling, he turned to his disciples and asked:

‘Why do people shout in anger shout at each other?’

Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, ‘Because when we lose our calm, we shout.’

‘But, why should you shout when the other person is just next to you? You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner’ asked the master.

The disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples. Finally the master explained:

‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.

What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small.’

The master continued…

‘When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’

The master looked at his disciples and said:

‘So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant, Do not say words that distance each other more, or else there may come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return.’

~ Author Unknown

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Self-esteem vs. Self-respect

Posted October 30, 2012 By Mark

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There’s a big difference between self-respect and self-esteem. Choose self-respect.

By Ellen J. Langer, published on November 01, 1999 – last reviewed on June 09, 2011

Our culture is concerned with matters of self-esteem. Self-respect, on the other hand, may hold the key to achieving the peace of mind we seek. The two concepts seem very similar but the differences between them are crucial. To esteem anything is to evaluate it positively and hold it in high regard, but evaluation gets us into trouble because while we sometimes win, we also sometimes lose. To respect something, on the other hand, is to accept it.

I enjoy singing and do so quite frequently. As those within earshot will attest, I’m not very good but I love to sing anyway. During summer parties I frequently sing solo and play the part of the “moving ball,” trying to stay just ahead of the music to provide the words for those who don’t know the song. I am not saddened by my lack of talent. I accept the way I sing. Because of this acceptance, I am able to sing without being evaluative of myself or concerned with what others think.

The word acceptance suggests to some readers that our culture does indeed deal with this idea of self-respect; after all, don’t we have the concept that it is important to accept our limitations? Aren’t many of us encouraged “to change the things we can change, accept the things we cannot change and know the difference between the two?” I believe I could learn to sing better, so my acceptance is not based on my limitations. Nor is it based on resignation, since I am not resigned to the belief that I cannot sing well and am not committed to any particular belief about my voice in the future.

The person with self-respect simply likes her- or himself. This self-respect is not contingent on success because there are always failures to contend with. Neither is it a result of comparing ourselves with others because there is always someone better. These are tactics usually employed to increase self-esteem. Self-respect, however, is a given. We simply like ourselves or we don’t. With self-respect, we like ourselves because of who we are and not because of what we can or cannot do.

Consider an interesting test of self-respect. If someone compliments us, what is our reaction? If we are very pleased, it would suggest a certain amount of uncertainty about our skill. Imagine that somebody whose opinion we respect told us that we were great at spelling three-letter words, or that our pronunciation of vowels was wonderful. Chances are we would not be moved. We know we can do it in the first case, and we don’t care in the second. Because we were not evaluating ourselves, the compliment was unimportant. The more instances in which we don’t “take the compliment,” the less vulnerable we become to evaluation and insult.
My recent research, with Judith White and Johnny Walsch at Harvard University, points to the advantages of self-respect. Compared to those with high self-esteem who are still caught in an evaluative framework, those with self-respect are less prone to blame, guilt, regret, lies, secrets and stress.

Many people worry whether there is life after death. Just think about it: If we gave up self-evaluation, we could have more life before death.
Adapted by Ph.D.
Ellen J. Langer, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, is author of The Power of Mindful Learning (Perseus, 1997) and Mindfulness (Perseus, 1989).

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199911/self-esteem-vs-self-respect

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