"Self-esteem is your overall opinion of yourself — how you honestly feel about your abilities and limitations. When you have healthy self-esteem, you feel good about yourself and see yourself as deserving the respect of others. When you have low self-esteem, you put little value on your opinions and ideas. You might constantly worry that you aren't "good enough." Discussions about self-esteem often are centered on children. However, many adults could benefit from improving their self-esteem." Mayo Clinic Staff
Earlier this week I had my annual physical exam and one of the questions the doctor asked me was if I had had any suicidal thoughts or had been severely depressed since my last exam? My immediate response to her was "absolutely not, because I love me some me." We both had a good laugh and shared an "I know that's right" moment, however, as I thought more about it when I returned home, it occurred to me that not everyone would be able to give that response. I thought about how most of the issues we face in society today can be traced to the low self esteem of individuals. If you read/follow this blog, then you know I am constantly speaking/writing against the negative terms in which too many of us call ourselves and each other (bitch, nigger, etc. etc.), yet when you really think about it, one's self esteem has to be very low in order to engage in that destructive and self hating behavior.
The Bible instructs us to "Love others as well as you love yourself," thereby explaining why we have so much hatred, killing, anger, stealing, tattooing, negative name calling, body piercing, vulgar lyric-ed music, etc. etc. etc. Too many of us really don't love ourselves and treat others the same way we feel about ourselves --Ugly. As you listen to the first few sound bites of any local or national newscast or read the newspaper, it is evident that too many us put little value on the lives of others because we put little value on our own opinions, ideas, and lives.
If you are reading this and feel that you would not be able to confidently give the response I gave to my doctor at the beginning of the post (be honest with yourself), please visit the following links for possible suggestions/activities that you can choose to engage(Don't just read them - put them into practice):
Building Self-esteem - A Self-Help Guide
Building Confidence and Self-Esteem -17 simple suggestions for building confidence and self-esteem.
13 Tips to Building Self Esteem
50 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Self-Esteem
If we are unable to help everyone see the impact that loving ones self has on everything and everyone else, then we will continue to experience rate increases in hatred, killing, anger, stealing, tattooing, negative name calling, body piercing, vulgar lyric-ed music, etc. etc. etc.(all of these are forms of self-hatred). As these rates continue to rise, even those of us who have healthy self esteems will have our quality of life shot to Hell. I quote Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often and he said "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." As the numbers of individuals with low self esteem increase, we will all be affected. Something to critically think about. I invite you to listen to The Critical Thinker live as he hosts The Reading Circle each Saturday morning beginning at 6 a.m. ET on gobrave.org. You are also welcomed to follow along on Twitter @thinkcritical01.