Self Respect Quotes

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I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self respect. And it's these things I'd believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn't all she should be. I love her and it is the beginning of everything.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
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)
When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everyone will respect you.
Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)
We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don't see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967)
In youth, it was a way I had, To do my best to please. And change, with every passing lad To suit his theories. But now I know the things I know And do the things I do, And if you do not like me so, To hell, my love, with you.
Dorothy Parker (The Complete Poems of Dorothy Parker)
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
Michel de Montaigne (The Complete Essays)
I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
If you truly want to be respected by people you love, you must prove to them that you can survive without them.
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Infinity Sign)
Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.
Shannon L. Alder
Be not the slave of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.
Aberjhani (Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry)
They cannot take away our self respect if we do not give it to them.
Mahatma Gandhi
Respect yourself and others will respect you.
Confucius (Sayings of Confucius)
If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that... I believe in what I do, and I'll say it.
John Lennon
One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.
Shannon L. Alder
It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters,
Amit Ray (Meditation: Insights and Inspirations)
If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Insulted and Humiliated)
The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.
Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times)
Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.
Joan Didion (On Self-Respect)
If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.
Jack Kornfield (Buddha's Little Instruction Book)
Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.
Theodore Roosevelt
Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self esteem.
Kurt Cobain
People that have trust issues only need to look in the mirror. There they will meet the one person that will betray them the most.
Shannon L. Alder
Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.
Adrienne Rich
Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.
Thucydides (History of the Peloponnesian War)
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)
I cannot conceive of a greater loss than the loss of one's self-respect.
Mahatma Gandhi (Fools, Martyrs, Traitors: The Story of Martyrdom in the Western World)
I cannot compromise my respect for your love. You can keep your love, I will keep my respect.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Ladies, let me give you some advice. You can throw all your stupid fucking chick-lit, self-help, why-doesn't-he-love-me books out, because this is all you need to know: Men will treat you the way you let them. There is no such thing as "deserving" respect; you get what you demand from people.. if you demand respect, he will either respect you or he won't associate with you. It really is that simple.
Tucker Max (I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (Tucker Max, #1))
Learn to deal with the fact that you are not a perfect person but you are a person that deserves respect and honesty.
Pandora Poikilos (Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out)
Self respect is something that can't be killed. The worst thing is to kill a man's pretense at it.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
From time to time, I do consider that I might be mad. Like any self-respecting lunatic, however, I am always quick to dismiss any doubts about my sanity.
Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1))
Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer to the soul and a trait of a true coward. There is nothing intelligent about not standing up for yourself. You may not win every battle. However, everyone will at least know what you stood for—YOU.
Shannon L. Alder
The only person that deserves a special place in your life is someone that never made you feel like you were an option in theirs.
Shannon L. Alder
You think because he doesn't love you that you are worthless. You think that because he doesn't want you anymore that he is right -- that his judgement and opinion of you are correct. If he throws you out, then you are garbage. You think he belongs to you because you want to belong to him. Don't. It's a bad word, 'belong.' Especially when you put it with somebody you love. Love shouldn't be like that. Did you ever see the way the clouds love a mountain? They circle all around it; sometimes you can't even see the mountain for the clouds. But you know what? You go up top and what do you see? His head. The clouds never cover the head. His head pokes through, beacuse the clouds let him; they don't wrap him up. They let him keep his head up high, free, with nothing to hide him or bind him. You can't own a human being. You can't lose what you don't own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don't, do you? And neither does he. You're turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can't value you more than you value yourself.
Toni Morrison
Love is a combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust.
bell hooks (Communion: The Female Search for Love)
For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves--there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.
Joan Didion
In yourself right now is all the place you've got.
Flannery O'Connor (Wise Blood)
Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.
Shannon L. Alder
Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.
Joan Didion (On Self-Respect)
Self respect, Colie. If you don't have it, the world will walk all over you.
Sarah Dessen (Keeping the Moon)
It's a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.
Germany Kent
I think about you much more than any self-respecting man would like to admit, and I'm insanely jealous of Tucker - something I never thought I'd say. Moving on after you is impossible. No other girl can keep me on my toes the way you can. No one else makes me WANT to embarrass myself by writing sappy letters like this one. Only you.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d, I stand and look at them long and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass: The Death-Bed Edition)
Patriotism ... is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.
Emma Goldman
You will never gain anyone's approval by begging for it. When you stand confident in your own worth, respect follows.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil. It is not for you to choose what he shall know, what he shall do. It is chosen and foreordained and he only holds the key to his own secret.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Love is proved the moment you let go of someone because they need you to.
Shannon L. Alder
I would rather be alone with dignity than in a relationship that requires me to sacrifice my self respect.
Mandy Hale
Once you embrace your value, talents and strengths, it neutralizes when others think less of you.
Rob Liano
Nothing resembles selfishness more closely than self-respect
George Sand (Indiana)
Some of the most beautiful things worth having in your life come wrapped in a crown of thorns.
Shannon L. Alder
Confidence is knowing who you are and not changing it a bit because of someone’s version of reality is not your reality.
Shannon L. Alder
Dignity will only happen when you realize that having someone in your life doesn’t validate your worth.
Shannon L. Alder
She loved the guy. She did it for him. She would’ve done anything for him. Some people are like that. Some loves are like that. Most loves are like that, from what I can see. Your heart starts to feel like an overcrowded lifeboat. You throw your pride out to keep it afloat, and your self-respect and your independence. After a while you start throwing people out—your friends, everyone you used to know. And it’s still not enough. The lifeboat is still sinking, and you know it’s going to take you down with it. I’ve seen that happen to a lot of people here. I think that’s why I’m sick of love.
Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram)
It's easy to run to others. It's so hard to stand on one's own record. You can fake virtue for an audience. You can't fake it in your own eyes. Your ego is your strictest judge. They run from it. They spend their lives running. It's easier to donate a few thousand to charity and think oneself noble than to base self-respect on personal standards of personal achievement. It's simple to seek substitutes for competence--such easy substitutes: love, charm, kindness, charity. But there is no substitute for competence.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
It's a lot harder to get someone OUT of your life than it is to let them IN, so please…be selective.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
Walk tall, or baby don't walk at all.
Bruce Springsteen
Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your own mind. Something you dream about and sing about. Maybe it's not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit, full of books and films you've been to. I'm not afraid of being homesick and having no language to live in. I don't have to be like anyone else. I'm walking on the wall and nobody can stop me.
Hugo Hamilton (The Speckled People: A Memoir of a Half-Irish Childhood)
APPLY WITHIN You once told me You wanted to find Yourself in the world - And I told you to First apply within, To discover the world within you. You once told me You wanted to save The world from all its wars - And I told you to First save yourself From the world, And all the wars You put yourself Through. APPLY WITHIN by Suzy Kassem
Suzy Kassem
Chasing a man is not winning. The only thing you win is the loss of your dignity. Confidence is knowing your value, instead of expecting a man’s love to provide you with value.
Shannon L. Alder
There are certain phrases potent to make my blood boil -- improper influence! What old woman's cackle is that?" "Are you a young lady?" "I am a thousand times better: I am an honest woman, and as such I will be treated.
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
People can have their opinions about everything in the world, but people's opinions end where the tip of my nose begins. Your opinions of others can only go so far as to where their own shoreline is. The world is for your taking, but other people are not. One is only allowed to have an opinion of me, if that person is done educating him/herself on everything about me. Before people educate themselves on everything about you, they're not allowed to open their venomous mouthes and have an opinion about you.
C. JoyBell C.
You have a unique gift to offer this world. Be true to yourself, be kind to yourself, read and learn about everything that interests you and keep away from people who bring you down. When you treat yourself kindly and respect the uniqueness of those around you, you will be giving this world an amazing gift... YOU!
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
There is a God part in you. The consciousness. The pure Self. Learn to listen the voice of that Power.
Amit Ray (Nonviolence: The Transforming Power)
It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
That's the big picture, your happiness. And health. You should never care what a man thinks of you -- until he demonstrates to you that he cares about making you happy. If he isn't trying to make you happy, then send him back from "whence" he came because winning him over will have no benefit. At the end of the day, happines, joy...and yes...your emotional stability...those comprise the only measuring stick you really need to have.
Sherry Argov (Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl—A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship)
When God takes out the trash, don't go digging back through it. Trust Him.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Heart Crush)
I'm sure that if woman laid out the rules- requirements- early on, and let her intended know that he could either rise up to those requirements, or just move on. A directive like that signals to a man that you are not a plaything-someone to be used and discarded. It tells him that what you have- your benefits- are special, and that you need time to get to know him and his ways to decide if he DESERVES them. The man who is willing to put in the time and meet the requirments is the one you want to stick around, because tthat guy is making a conscious decision that he, too, has no interest in playing games and will do what it takes to not only stay on the job, but also get promoted and be the proud beneficiary of your benefits. And you, in the meantime, win the ultimate prize of maintaing your dignity and self-esteem, and earning the respect of the man who recognized that you were worth the wait.
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
football is like life - it requires perserverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.
Vince Lombardi Jr.
What a fool I would have been to let self-respect interfere with my happiness!
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Bluebeard)
If you don't know what you want, you'll never find it. If you don't know what you deserve, you'll always settle for less. You will wander aimlessly, uncomfortably numb in your comfort zone, wondering how life has ended up here. Life starts now, live, love, laugh and let your light shine!
Rob Liano
He's the kind of good-looking that transforms once self-respecting females into useless puddles of dumbass.
Katja Millay (The Sea of Tranquility)
People with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve; they display what was once called *character,* a quality which, although approved in the abstract, sometimes loses ground to the other, more instantly negotiable virtues.... character--the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life--is the source from which self-respect springs.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
Many people lack the basic equipment to be in a relationship and there's nothing you can do to change it. You can't take a skunk and dip it in perfume and hope it becomes a puppy. Eventually, the perfume will wear off and you'll still have a skunk on your hands.
Sherry Argov (Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl—A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship)
Don’t ever stray from yourself, in order to be close to someone that doesn’t have the courtesy to remind you of your worth, or the integrity of a gentleman to walk you home.
Shannon L. Alder
What the hell is this?” Desandra asked “This is Cuddles. She's a mammoth donkey.” Derek grinned, leaning on the fence. “Do you have any self-respect left?” “Nope.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7))
Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that's real power.
Clint Eastwood
Now let's move on to the subject of how a real man treats his wife. A real man doesn't slap even a ten-dollar hooker around, if he's got any self respect, much less hurt his own woman. Much less ten times over the mother of his kids. A real man busts his ass to feed his family, fights for them if he has to, dies for them if he has to. And he treats his wife with respect every day of his life, treats her like a queen - the queen of the home she makes for their children.
S.M. Stirling (Dies the Fire (Emberverse, #1))
Respect for self is the beginning of cultivating virtue in men and women.
Gordon B. Hinckley
There is only one real misfortune: to forfeit one's own good opinion of oneself. Lose your complacency, once betray your own self-contempt and the world will unhesitatingly endorse it.
Thomas Mann
My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
Thomas Paine
Nobody can say anything about you. Whatsoever people say is about themselves. But you become very shaky, because you are still clinging to a false center. That false center depends on others, so you are always looking to what people are saying about you. And you are always following other people, you are always trying to satisfy them. You are always trying to be respectable, you are always trying to decorate your ego. This is suicidal. Rather than being disturbed by what others say, you should start looking inside yourself… Whenever you are self-conscious you are simply showing that you are not conscious of the self at all. You don’t know who you are. If you had known, then there would have been no problem— then you are not seeking opinions. Then you are not worried what others say about you— it is irrelevant! When you are self-conscious you are in trouble. When you are self-conscious you are really showing symptoms that you don’t know who you are. Your very self-consciousness indicates that you have not come home yet.
Osho
...It is a proud privilege to be a soldier – a good soldier … [with] discipline, self-respect, pride in his unit and his country, a high sense of duty and obligation to comrades and to his superiors, and a self confidence born of demonstrated ability.
George S. Patton Jr.
I regret nothing. No woman with any self-respect would have done less. The question of good and evil will always be one of philosophy's most intriguing problems, up there with the problem of existence itself. I'm not quarreling with your choice of issues, only with your intellectually diminished approach. If evil means to be self-motivated, to live on one's own terms, then every artist, every thinker, every original mind, is evil. Because we dare to look through our own eyes rather than mouth cliches lent us from the so-called Fathers. To dare to see is to steal fire from the Gods. This is mankind's destiny, the engine which fuels us as a race.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
An open Facebook page is simply a psychiatric dry erase board that screams, “Look at me. I am insecure. I need your reaction to what I am doing, but you’re not cool enough to be my friend. Therefore, I will just pray you see this because the approval of God is not all I need.
Shannon L. Alder
A quest for self-respect is proof of its lack
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
The grandiose person is never really free; first because he is excessively dependent on admiration from others, and second, because his self-respect is dependent on qualities, functions, and achievements that can suddenly fail.
Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self)
She might be without country, without nation, but inside her there was still a being that could exist and be free, that could simply say I am without adding a this, or a that, without saying I am Indian, Guyanese, English, or anything else in the world.
Sharon Maas (Of Marriageable Age)
Self-respect. It would make me lovable. And it's the secret to good sex.
Susan Sontag (As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980)
Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having,has a price.
Joan Didion
Throw a stick, and the servile dog wheezes and pants and stumbles to bring it to you. Do the same before a cat, and he will eye you with coolly polite and somewhat bored amusement. And just as inferior people prefer the inferior animal which scampers excitedly because someone else wants something, so do superior people respect the superior animal which lives its own life and knows that the puerile stick-throwings of alien bipeds are none of its business and beneath its notice. The dog barks and begs and tumbles to amuse you when you crack the whip. That pleases a meekness-loving peasant who relishes a stimulus to his self importance. The cat, on the other hand, charms you into playing for its benefit when it wishes to be amused; making you rush about the room with a paper on a string when it feels like exercise, but refusing all your attempts to make it play when it is not in the humour. That is personality and individuality and self-respect -- the calm mastery of a being whose life is its own and not yours -- and the superior person recognises and appreciates this because he too is a free soul whose position is assured, and whose only law is his own heritage and aesthetic sense.
H.P. Lovecraft
No boundary or barrier surrounds the heart of a person that loves their self and others.
Shannon L. Alder
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”. As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”. As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”. As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”. As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”. As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”. As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”. As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”. As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”. We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!
Charlie Chaplin
You got nothin' to lose but your self-respect.
Wendelin Van Draanen (Flipped)
we are all alone, born alone, die alone, and — in spite of true romance magazines — we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. i do not say lonely — at least, not all the time — but essentially, and finally, alone. this is what makes your self-respect so important, and i don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness
William S. Burroughs
I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass. 32. I think I could turn and live with animals, they're so placid and self-contained, I stand and look at them and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition. They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins. They do not make me sick discussiong their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the earth. 52. The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab and loitering. I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
Self-respect--the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.
H.L. Mencken
It is a wretched thing that the young men of today are so contriving and so proud of their material posessions. Men with contriving hearts are lacking in duty. Lacking in duty, they will have no self-respect.
Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai)
Stand up for who you are. Respect your Self and ignite the divine sparks in you. Access your powers. Choose your rights and work together with others to bring blessings into the lives.
Amit Ray
When you express "purity" which is the truth about yourself, you feel a love for yourself that is expressed by self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence!
Tae Yun Kim (Seven Steps to Inner Power)
Instruction for life: Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk. When you lose, don't lose the lesson. Follow the three R's: - Respect for self. - Respect for others. - Responsibility for all your actions. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
H. Jackson Brown Jr. (Life's Little Instruction Book)
Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.
Aung San Suu Kyi (Freedom from Fear)
Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect. But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants "just a few minutes of your time, please—this won't take long." Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time—and squawk for more! So learn to say No—and to be rude about it when necessary. Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you. (This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don't do it because it is "expected" of you.)
Robert A. Heinlein (Time Enough for Love)
The Writer's Oath I promise solemnly: 1. to write as often and as much as I can, 2. to respect my writing self, and 3. to nurture the writing of others. I accept these responsibilities and shall honor them always.
Gail Carson Levine (Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly)
The great majority of us are Muslims. We follow the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (may peace be upon him). We are members of the brotherhood of Islam in which all are equal in rights, dignity and self-respect. Consequently, we have a special and a very deep sense of unity. But make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.
Robert Tew
If you do not respect your own wishes, no one else will. You will simply attract people who disrespect you as much as you do.
Vironika Tugaleva
The best don’t stick around when you treat them poorly, only the desperate do.
Shannon L. Alder
Unrequited love is the only emotion that allows sane people to taste the “life sentence” of someone with bipolar disorder. The longer they hang onto a lost cause the more unstable they look to everyone else. They contradict their own belief systems and statements, by circling the drain with two competing emotions—love and hate.
Shannon L. Alder
About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enough—and even miraculous enough if you insist—I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about? Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don't believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart's content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of others—while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity—so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called 'meaningless' except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one's everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
If we cant laugh at ourselves, do we have the right to laugh at others?
C.H. Hamel
Remember, there is nothing wrong with a healthy sense of self-respect.
Cressida Cowell (How to Steal a Dragon's Sword (How to Train Your Dragon, #9))
When you think this pain is all you deserve, you are right. You are the only one that can decide how long you will walk in hell.
Shannon L. Alder
All my problems bow before my stubbornness.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
The number of chances you give someone doesn't tell the world how loving you are without telling them how desperate you are to believe they care as much as you. True love resides in the first chance, stupidity in the second, opportunists in the third and scoundrels in the fourth.
Shannon L. Alder
There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity.
Nathaniel Branden
All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final.
Hypatia
You differ from a great man in only one respect: the great man was once a very little man, but he developed one important quality: he recognized the smallness and narrowness of his thoughts and actions. Under the pressure of some task that meant a great deal to him, he learned to see how his smallness, his pettiness endangered his happiness. In other words, a great man knows when and in what way he is a little man. A little man does not know he is little and is afraid to know. He hides his pettiness and narrowness behind illusions of strength and greatness, someone else's strength and greatness. He's proud of his great generals but not of himself. He admires an idea he has not had, not one he has had. The less he understands something, the more firmly he believes in it. And the better he understands an idea, the less he believes in it.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
When people who don't know you well admire you, they are seeing their projected illusion, not your real self. In contrast, when people who know you well respect you, it is probably because you deserve it.
Haemin Sunim (The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: Guidance on the Path to Mindfulness from a Spiritual Leader)
As a self-respecting dude, I'd never believed in fairy tales, but in that moment, I did. I'd found my angel to live happily-ever-after with.
Katie Ashley (Music of the Heart (Runaway Train, #1))
You can be bit in the leg by a rattlesnake and seek help to heal your wound, or you can run after it and let the poison take your leg. The same is true with love.
Shannon L. Alder
LOVE of others is the appreciation of one's self. MAY your egotism be so gigantic that you comprise mankind in your self-sympathy.
Mina Loy (The Lost Lunar Baedeker: Poems of Mina Loy)
You are not an option, a choice or a soft place to land after a long battle. You were meant to be the one. If you can wrap yourself around the idea that you are something incredible, then you will stop excusing behavior that rapes your very soul. You were never meant to teach someone to love you. You were meant to be loved.
Shannon L. Alder
Ask anything of men. Ask them to achieve wealth, fame, love, brutality, murder, self-sacrifice. But don’t ask them to achieve self-respect. They will hate your soul.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
I'd rather see you poor men's wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queen's on thrones, without self-respect and peace.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
Why isn't there a commandment to "honor thy children" or at least one to "not abuse thy children"? The notion that we must honor our parents causes many people to bury their real feelings and set aside their own needs in order to have a relationship with people they would otherwise not associate with. Parents, like anyone else, need to earn respect and honor, and honoring parents who are negative and abusive is not only impossible but extremely self-abusive. Perhaps, as with anything else, honoring our parents starts with honoring ourselves. For many adult children, honoring themselves means not having anything to do with one or both of their parents.
Beverly Engel (Divorcing a Parent)
It is only when you accept how different you all are, that you will be able to see how much the same you all are. Don't expect anybody to be the same as you, then you will see that you are in many ways the same as everybody.
C. JoyBell C.
There are many ways a self-respecting (not to mention sane) teenage girl might react to having a teenage boy suddenly in her bedroom in the middle of the night. Hit. Panic. Flail. Freeze.
Ally Carter (Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4))
To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
Give a man or woman back his self-respect, and in most cases-not all, but most-you also give back that person's ability to think with at least some clarity.
Stephen King (Under the Dome)
Love is spiritual. It's about self-sacrifice and commitment. And discipline. You cannot have true love without discipline and respect. When you lose the respect of your spouse, you've lost everything.
Candace Bushnell (The Carrie Diaries (The Carrie Diaries, #1))
Live your life in such a way that you'll be remembered for your kindness, compassion, fairness, character, benevolence, and a force for good who had much respect for life, in general.
Germany Kent
Don’t ever feel bad that someone couldn’t give you all of their heart. Be grateful that you can take the least complicated part of their soul with you, wherever you go. This is more than some people will ever have.
Shannon L. Alder
I guessed life was like that. You gained and you lost, and if you saved anything from the ruins, even if only a shred of self-respect, it was enough to take you through the next bit.
Dick Francis (Whip Hand (Sid Halley, #2))
Danika just said it. “If he grabs his phone to check his messages before his dick’s barely out of you again, please have the self-respect to kick his balls across the room and come home to me.
Sarah J. Maas (House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1))
Why should we place Christ at the top and summit of the human race? Was he kinder, more forgiving, more self-sacrificing than Buddha? Was he wiser, did he meet death with more perfect calmness, than Socrates? Was he more patient, more charitable, than Epictetus? Was he a greater philosopher, a deeper thinker, than Epicurus? In what respect was he the superior of Zoroaster? Was he gentler than Lao-tsze, more universal than Confucius? Were his ideas of human rights and duties superior to those of Zeno? Did he express grander truths than Cicero? Was his mind subtler than Spinoza’s? Was his brain equal to Kepler’s or Newton’s? Was he grander in death – a sublimer martyr than Bruno? Was he in intelligence, in the force and beauty of expression, in breadth and scope of thought, in wealth of illustration, in aptness of comparison, in knowledge of the human brain and heart, of all passions, hopes and fears, the equal of Shakespeare, the greatest of the human race?
Robert G. Ingersoll (About The Holy Bible)
And read… read all the time… read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect. Read as a nourishing staple of life.
David McCullough Jr.
People talk about confidence without ever bringing up hard work. That’s a mistake. I know I sound like some dour older spinster on Downton Abbey who has never felt a man’s touch and whose heart has turned to stone, but I don’t understand how you could have self-confidence if you don’t do the work... I have never, ever, ever, met a high confident person and successful person who is not what a movie would call a 'workaholic.' Because confidence is like respect; you have to earn it.
Mindy Kaling (Why Not Me?)
Well, I always tried to look nice and be feminine even in the worst tragedies and crisis, there's no reason to add to everyone's misery by looking miserable yourself. That's my philosophy. This is why I always wore makeup and jewelry into the jungle-nothing too extravagant, but maybe just a nice gold bracelet and some earrings, a little lipstick, good perfume. Just enough to show that I still had my self-respect.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Your body is a temple, not a daily dumping ground for another person’s pain, anger, betrayal, judgment, hypocrisy, denial, games, jealousy or blame. When you are being psychologically, spiritually or emotionally abused by a person, and they don’t care how it hurts you, then it is time to leave what is polluting your relationship with God.
Shannon L. Alder
The Anatomy of Conflict: If there is no communication then there is no respect. If there is no respect then there is no caring. If there is no caring then there is no understanding. If there is no understanding then there is no compassion. If there is no compassion then there is no empathy. If there is no empathy then there is no forgiveness. If there is no forgiveness then there is no kindness. If there is no kindness then there is no honesty. If there is no honesty then there is no love. If there is no love then God doesn't reside there. If God doesn't reside there then there is no peace. If there is no peace then there is no happiness. If there is no happiness ----then there IS CONFLICT BECAUSE THERE IS NO COMMUNICATION!
Shannon L. Alder
If the difference between guys and men is still unclear, here are a few examples that apply to dating: A guy uses women to build his self-esteem. A man already has it. A guy likes to "hang out" with a woman he's interested in. A man asks her out. A guy doesn't make a move until he's sure there's no risk. A man is bold and clear with his intentions. A guy plays games with a woman. A man has no time for games because they keep him from getting to know the woman. A guy will become bitter and angry with a woman when she denies him. A man accepts that dating involves risk. A guy fears and worships women. A man respects and adores them but fears and worships only God. Guys are cool and indifferent. Men are hot and passionate.
Stephen W. Simpson (What Women Wish You Knew about Dating: A Single Guy's Guide to Romantic Relationships)
No one can ever make you feel inferior without your permission, Tory. Don’t give it to them. Realize that it’s their own insecurities that make them attack you and others. They’re so unhappy with themselves that the only way they can feel better is by making everyone as unhappy as they are. Don’t let those people steal your day, baby. You hold your head high and know that you have the one thing they can never take away from you. (Theo) What's that, Papa? (Tory) My love. Your mother’s love and the love of your family and true friends. Your own self-respect and sense of purpose. Look at me, Torimou, people laugh at me all the time and say that I’m chasing rainbows. They told George Lucas that he was a fool for making Star Wars – they used to even call it Lucas’s Folly. Did he listen? No. And if he’d listened to them you wouldn’t have had your favorite movie made and think of how many people would never have heard the phrase 'May the Force be With You.' (Theo)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference. If we do not respect ourselves, we are on the one hand forced to despise those who have so few resources as to consort with us, so little perception as to remain blind to our fatal weaknesses. On the other, we are pecularily in thrall to everyone we see, curiously determined to live out - since our self-image is untenable - their false notions of us...
Joan Didion
Some people stand and move as if they have no right to the space they occupy. They wonder why others often fail to treat them with respect--not realizing that they have signalled others that it is not necessary to treat them with respect.
Nathaniel Branden (Six Pillars of Self-Esteem)
Your friends are all the dullest dogs I know. They are not beautiful: they are only decorated. They are not clean: they are only shaved and starched. They are not dignified: they are only fashionably dressed. They are not educated: they are only college passmen. They are not religious: they are only pewrenters. They are not moral: they are only conventional. They are not virtuous: they are only cowardly. They are not even vicious: they are only “frail.” They are not artistic: they are only lascivious. They are not prosperous: they are only rich. They are not loyal, they are only servile; not dutiful, only sheepish; not public spirited, only patriotic; not courageous, only quarrelsome; not determined, only obstinate; not masterful, only domineering; not self-controlled, only obtuse; not self-respecting, only vain; not kind, only sentimental; not social, only gregarious; not considerate, only polite; not intelligent, only opinionated; not progressive, only factious; not imaginative, only superstitious; not just, only vindictive; not generous, only propitiatory; not disciplined, only cowed; and not truthful at all: liars every one of them, to the very backbone of their souls.
George Bernard Shaw (Man and Superman)
If you care about yourself, you should care about learning - even learning simple things. You come to have pride in yourself only by accomplishing things, even from fixing some old stairs...Others can't grant you self-respect, even others who care about you. You have to earn self-respect yourself.
Terry Goodkind (Faith of the Fallen (Sword of Truth, #6))
Depression is awful beyond words or sounds or images...it bleeds relationships through suspicion, lack of confidence and self-respect, the inability to enjoy life, to walk or talk or think normally, the exhaustion, the night terrors, the day terrors. There is nothing good to be said for it except that it gives you the experience of how it must be to be old, to be old and sick, to be dying; to be slow of mind; to be lacking in grace, polish and coordination; to be ugly; to have no belief in the possibilities of life, the pleasures of sex, the exquisiteness of music or the ability to make yourself and others laugh.
Kay Redfield Jamison (An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness)
No: I shall not marry Samuel Fawthrop Wynne." "I ask why? I must have a reason. In all respects he is more than worthy of you." She stood on the hearth; she was pale as the white marble slab and cornice behind her; her eyes flashed large, dilated, unsmiling. "And I ask in what sense that young man is worthy of me?
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
To assign unanswered letters their proper weight, to free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves--there lies the great, the singular power of self-respect. Without it, one eventually discovers the final turn of the screw: one runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home.
Joan Didion (On Self-Respect)
Don't waste your time trying to provide people with proof of deceit, in order to keep their love, win their love or salvage their respect for you. The truth is this: If they care they will go out of their way to learn the truth. If they don't then they really don't value you as a human being. The moment you have to sell people on who you are is the moment you let yourself believe that every good thing you have ever done or accomplished was invisible to the world. And, it is not!
Shannon L. Alder
The source to low self-esteem is the lack of control you feel you have in your life. If you spend your life competing with others, trying to make right the wrongs done to you, or waste your time trying to look right, you will never achieve contentment and emotional balance. People you encounter in life can’t be controlled by you. You only have control of yourself. Build your life around a relationship with a higher power and achieving what you’re passionate about. When you let go of what you can’t control, true peace can then enter your life. This is the path to achieving emotional balance.
Shannon L. Alder
I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
Why are you drinking? - the little prince asked. - In order to forget - replied the drunkard. - To forget what? - inquired the little prince, who was already feeling sorry for him. - To forget that I am ashamed - the drunkard confessed, hanging his head. - Ashamed of what? - asked the little prince who wanted to help him. - Ashamed of drinking! - concluded the drunkard, withdrawing into total silence. And the little prince went away, puzzled. 'Grown-ups really are very, very odd', he said to himself as he continued his journey.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
Loyalty, Signor Molteni, not love. Penelope is loyal to Ulysses but we do not know how far she loved him...and as you know people can sometimes be absolutely loyal without loving. In certain cases, in fact, loyalty is form of vengeance, of black-mail, of recovering one's self-respect. Loyalty, not love.
Alberto Moravia (Contempt)
Every form of happiness is private. Our greatest moments are personal, self-motivated, not to be touched. The things which are sacred or precious to us are the things we withdraw from promiscuous sharing. But now we are taught to throw everything within us into public light and common pawing. To seek joy in meeting halls. We haven't even got a word for the quality I mean--for the self-sufficiency of man's spirit. It's difficult to call it selfishness or egotism, the words have been perverted, they've come to mean Peter Keating. Gail, I think the only cardinal evil on earth is that of placing your prime concern within other men. I've always demanded a certain quality in the people I liked. I've always recognized it at once--and it's the only quality I respect in men. I chose my friends by that. Now I know what it is. A self-sufficient ego. Nothing else matters.
Ayn Rand
It is the phenomenon somethings called "alienation from self." In its advanced stages, we no longer answer the telephone, because someone might want something; that we could say no without drowning in self-reproach is an idea alien to this game. Every encounter demands too much, tears the nerves, drains the will, and the specter of something as small as an unanswered letter arouses such disproportionate guilt that answering it becomes out of the question. To assign unanswered letters their proper weight, to free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves - there lies the great, the singular power of self-respect. Without it, one eventually discovers the final turn of the screw: one runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
Dear Child, Sometimes on your travel through hell, you meet people that think they are in heaven because of their cleverness and ability to get away with things. Travel past them because they don't understand who they have become and never will. These type of people feel justified in revenge and will never learn mercy or forgiveness because they live by comparison. They are the people that don't care about anyone, other than who is making them feel confident. They don’t understand that their deity is not rejoicing with them because of their actions, rather he is trying to free them from their insecurities, by softening their heart. They rather put out your light than find their own. They don't have the ability to see beyond the false sense of happiness they get from destroying others. You know what happiness is and it isn’t this. Don’t see their success as their deliverance. It is a mask of vindication which has no audience, other than their own kind. They have joined countless others that call themselves “survivors”. They believe that they are entitled to win because life didn’t go as planned for them. You are not like them. You were not meant to stay in hell and follow their belief system. You were bound for greatness. You were born to help them by leading. Rise up and be the light home. You were given the gift to see the truth. They will have an army of people that are like them and you are going to feel alone. However, your family in heaven stands beside you now. They are your strength and as countless as the stars. It is time to let go! Love, Your Guardian Angel
Shannon L. Alder
You don't believe that your friend could ever do anything great. You despise yourself in secret, even – no, especially – when you stand on your dignity; and since you despise yourself, you are unable to respect your friend. You can't bring yourself to believe that anyone you have sat at table with, or shared a house with, is capable of great achievement. That is why all great men have been solitary. It is hard to think in your company, little man. One can only think 'about' you, or 'for your benefit', not 'with' you, for you stifle all big, generous ideas.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
Be a light unto the world, and hurt it not. Seek to build not destroy. Bring My people home. How? By your shining example. Seek only Godliness. Speak only in truthfulness. Act only in love. Live the Law of Love now and forever more. Give everything require nothing. Avoid the mundane. Do not accept the unacceptable. Teach all who seek to learn of Me. Make every moment of your life an outpouring of love. Use every moment to think the highest thought, say the highest word, do the highest deed. In this, glorify your Holy Self, and thus too, glorify Me. Bring peace to the Earth by bringing peace to all those whose lives you touch. Be peace. Feel and express in every moment your Divine Connection with the All, and with every person, place, and thing. Embrace every circumstance, own every fault, share every joy, contemplate every mystery, walk in every man’s shoes, forgive every offense (including your own), heal every heart, honor every person’s truth, adore every person’s God, protect every person’s rights, preserve every person’s dignity, promote every person’s interests, provide every person’s needs, presume every person’s holiness, present every person’s greatest gifts, produce every person’s blessing, pronounce every person’s future secure in the assured love of God. Be a living, breathing example of the Highest Truth that resides within you. Speak humbly of yourself, lest someone mistake your Highest Truth for boast. Speak softly, lest someone think you are merely calling for attention. Speak gently, that all might know of Love. Speak openly, lest someone think you have something to hide. Speak candidly, so you cannot be mistaken. Speak often, so that your word may truly go forth. Speak respectfully, that no one be dishonored. Speak lovingly, that every syllable may heal. Speak of Me with every utterance. Make of your life a gift. Remember always, you are the gift! Be a gift to everyone who enters your life, and to everyone whose life you enter. Be careful not to enter another’s life if you cannot be a gift. (You can always be a gift, because you always are the gift—yet sometimes you don’t let yourself know that.) When someone enters your life unexpectedly, look for the gift that person has come to receive from you…I HAVE SENT YOU NOTHING BUT ANGELS.
Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2)
Some loves are like that. Your heart starts to feel like an overcrowded lifeboat. You throw your pride out to keep it afloat, & your self-respect & independence. After a while you start throwing people out - friends, everyone you know. & it's still not enough. The lifeboat is still sinking, & you know it's going to take you down with it. I've seen that happen to a lot of people. I think that's why I'm sick of love. - Karla
Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram)
Love yourself! You don’t need a man or a boy or a self-proclaimed love expert to tell you what you’re worth. Your power comes from who you are and what you do! You don't need all that noise, that constant hum in the background telling you whether or not you're good enough. All you need is you, your friends, and your family. And you will find the right person for you, if that's what you want - the one who respects your strength and beauty.
Amy Schumer (The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo)
Most adult children of toxic parents grow up feeling tremendous confusion about what love means and how it’s supposed to feel. Their parents did extremely unloving things to them in the name of love. They came to understand love as something chaotic, dramatic, confusing, and often painful—something they had to give up their own dreams and desires for. Obviously, that’s not what love is all about. Loving behaviour doesn’t grind you down, keep you off balance, or create feelings of self-hatred. Love doesn’t hurt, it feels good. Loving behaviour nourishes your emotional well-being. When someone is being loving to you, you feel accepted, cared for, valued, and respected. Genuine love creates feelings of warmth, pleasure, safety, stability, and inner peace.
Susan Forward (Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life)
Raffe looks over at the bloody knife in my hand. “If I still had any doubts that it was you, that would do it.” He gestures toward my opponent rolling on the ground with his hands cradling his package. “He should have been polite and just let us by,” I say. “Way to teach him some respect. I always wanted to meet a girl who fights dirty,” says Raffe. “There’s no such thing as dirty fighting in self-defense.” He huffs. “I don’t know whether to make fun of him or to respect you.” “Come on, that one’s easy.” He grins at me. There’s something in his eyes that makes my insides melt a little, like something deep inside us is communicating without me being fully aware of it.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
Relationships - of all kinds - are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is.The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold onto it, but most will be spilled. A relationship is like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively, and the relationship slips away and is lost.
Kaleel Jamison (The Nibble Theory and the Kernel of Power (Revised Edition): A Book about Leadership, Self-Empowerment, and Personal Growth)
When people want to win they will go to desperate extremes. However, anyone that has already won in life has come to the conclusion that there is no game. There is nothing but learning in this life and it is the only thing we take with us to the grave—knowledge. If you only understood that concept then your heart wouldn’t break so bad. Jealousy or revenge wouldn’t be your ambition. Stepping on others to raise yourself up wouldn’t be a goal. Competition would be left on the playing field, and your freedom from what other people think about you would light the pathway out of hell.
Shannon L. Alder
I do like him. I'm sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.... .... Listen, don't hate me because I can't remember some person immediately. Especially when they look like everybody else, and talk and dress and act like everybody else." Franny made her voice stop. It sounded to her caviling and bitchy, and she felt a wave of self-hatred that, quite literally, made her forehead begin to perspire again. But her voice picked up again, in spite of herself. "I don't mean there's anything horrible about him or anything like that. It's just that for four solid years I've kept seeing Wally Campbells wherever I go. I know when they're going to be charming, I know when they're going to start telling you some really nasty gossip about some girl that lives in your dorm, I know when they're going to ask me what I did over the summer, I know when they're going to pull up a chair and straddle it backward and start bragging in a terribly, terribly quiet voice--or name-dropping in a terribly quiet, casual voice. There's an unwritten law that people in a certain social or financial bracket can name-drop as much as they like just as long as they say something terribly disparaging about the person as soon as they've dropped his name—that he's a bastard or a nymphomaniac or takes dope all the time, or something horrible." She broke off again. She was quiet for a moment, turning the ashtray in her fingers. Franny quickly tipped her cigarette ash, then brought the ashtray an inch closer to her side of the table. "I'm sorry. I'm awful," she said. "I've just felt so destructive all week. It's awful, I'm horrible.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
To show man the best that is in him; not the most appealing or the most amusing or even the most realistic - but the best, which is rare and common and understood by all of us in all our different ways ... to include all the others - the meanest, the cheapest, the most cowardly - as a background and a foreground for something better ... to dig in the old scum that covers us all and find something that might be a tool for a man who would use it to fashion his self-respect in a world where all those tools are buried or broken or illegal ... and finally to tell it as it is, trying to see it all and especially the best, for to miss that part is to shovel shit on men who were born in quicksand and find no novelty in the heave and smell of doom.
Hunter S. Thompson
I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons I can never again be a Christian. Love is not self denial. Love is not blood and suffering. Love is not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love is not hatred or wrath, consigning billions of people to eternal torture because they have offended your ego or disobeyed your rules. Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being.
Dan Barker (Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist)
In fact that is why the lives of most women are so vaguely unsatisfactory. They are always doing secondary and menial things (that do not require all their gifts and ability) for others and never anything for themselves. Society and husbands praise them for it (when they get too miserable or have nervous breakdowns) though always a little perplexedly and half-heartedly and just to be consoling. The poor wives are reminded that that is just why wives are so splendid -- because they are so unselfish and self-sacrificing and that is the wonderful thing about them! But inwardly women know that something is wrong. They sense that if you are always doing something for others, like a servant or nurse, and never anything for yourself, you cannot do others any good. You make them physically more comfortable. But you cannot affect them spiritually in any way at all. For to teach, encourage, cheer up, console, amuse, stimulate or advise a husband or children or friends, you have to be something yourself. [...]"If you would shut your door against the children for an hour a day and say; 'Mother is working on her five-act tragedy in blank verse!' you would be surprised how they would respect you. They would probably all become playwrights.
Brenda Ueland
At a certain point, an eating disorder ceases to be "about" any one thing. It stops being about your family, or your culture. Very simply, it becomes an addiction not only emotionally but also chemically. And it becomes a crusade. If you are honest with yourself, you stop believing that anyone could "make" you do such a thing— who, your parents? They want you to starve to death? Not likely. Your environment? It couldn't careless. You are also doing it for yourself. It is a shortcut to something many women without an eating disorder have gotten: respect and power. It is a visual temper tantrum. You are making an ineffective statement about this and that, a grotesque, self-defeating mockery of cultural standards of beauty, societal misogyny. It is a blow to your parents, at whom you are pissed. And it is so very seductive. It is so reassuring, so all-consuming, so entertaining. At first.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
He ran as he'd never run before, with neither hope nor despair. He ran because the world was divided into opposites and his side had already been chosen for him, his only choice being whether or not to play his part with heart and courage. He ran because fate had placed him in a position of responsibility and he had accepted the burden. He ran because his self-respect required it. He ran because he loved his friends and this was the only thing he could do to end the madness that was killing and maiming them.
Karl Marlantes (Matterhorn)
It really is something ... that men disapprove even of our doing things that are patently good. Wouldn't it be possible for us just to banish these men from our lives, and escape their carping and jeering once and for all? Couldn't we live without them? Couldn't we earn our living and manage our affairs without help from them? Come on, let's wake up, and claim back our freedom, and the honour and dignity that they have usurped from us for so long. Do you think that if we really put our minds to it, we would be lacking the courage to defend ourselves, the strength to fend for ourselves, or the talents to earn our own living? Let's take our courage into our hands and do it, and then we can leave it up to them to mend their ways as much as they can: we shan't really care what the outcome is, just as long as we are no longer subjugated to them.
Moderata Fonte (The Worth of Women: Wherein Is Clearly Revealed Their Nobility and Their Superiority to Men)
We want to stand upon our own feet and look fair and square at the world - its good facts, its bad facts, its beauties, and its ugliness; see the world as it is and not be afraid of it. Conquer the world by intelligence and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it. The whole conception of God is a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by words uttered long ago by ignorant men. It needs a fearless outlook and free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time toward a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.
Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects)
But I think that because they trusted themselves and respected themselves as individuals, because they knew beyond doubt that they were valuable and potentially moral units -- because of this they could give God their own courage and dignity and then receive it back. Such things have disappeared perhaps because men do not trust themselves anymore, and when that happens there is nothing left except perhaps to find some strong sure man, even though he may be wrong, and to dangle from his coattails.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
One question in my mind, which I hardly dare mention in public, is whether patriotism has, overall, been a force for good or evil in the world. Patriotism is rampant in war and there are some good things about it. Just as self-respect and pride bring out the best in an individual, pride in family, pride in teammates, pride in hometown bring out the best in groups of people. War brings out the kind of pride in country that encourages its citizens in the direction of excellence and it encourages them to be ready to die for it. At no time do people work so well together to achieve the same goal as they do in wartime. Maybe that's enough to make patriotism eligible to be considered a virtue. If only I could get out of my mind the most patriotic people who ever lived, the Nazi Germans.
Andy Rooney (My War)
It is growing up different. It is extreme hypersensitivity. It is a bottomless pit of feeling you're failing, but three days later, you feel you can do anything, only to end the week where you began. It is not learning from your mistakes. It is distrusting people because you have been hurt enough. It is moments of knowing your pain is self inflicted, followed by blaming the world. It is wanting to listen, but you just can’t anymore because your life has been to full of people that have judged you. It is fighting to be right; so for once in your life someone will respect and hear you for a change. It is a tiring life of endless games with people, in order to seek stimulus. It is a hyper focus, so intense about what bothers you, that you can’t pay attention to anything else, for very long. It is a never-ending routine of forgetting things. It is a boredom and lack of contentment that keeps you running into the arms of anyone that has enough patience to stick around. It wears you out. It wears everyone out. It makes you question God’s plan. You misinterpret everything, and you allow your creative mind to fill the gaps with the same old chains that bind you. It narrows your vision of who you let into your life. It is speaking and acting without thinking. It is disconnecting from the ones you love because your mind has taken you back to what you can’t let go of. It is risk taking, thrill seeking and moodiness that never ends. You hang your hope on “signs” and abandon reason for remedy. It is devotion to the gifts and talents you have been given, that provide temporary relief. It is the latching onto the acceptance of others---like a scared child abandoned on a sidewalk. It is a drive that has no end, and without “focus” it takes you nowhere. It is the deepest anger when someone you love hurts you, and the greatest love when they don't. It is beauty when it has purpose. It is agony when it doesn’t. It is called Attention Deficit Disorder.
Shannon L. Alder
I lost the conviction that lights would always turn green for me, the pleasant certainty that those rather passive virtues which had won me approval as a child automatically guaranteed me not only Phi Beta Kappa keys but happiness, honor, and the love of a good man; lost a certain touching faith in the totem power of good manners, clean hair, and a proven competence on the Stanford-Binet scale. To such doubtful amulets had my self-respect been pinned, and I faced myself that day with the non-plused apprehension of someone who has come across a vampire and has no crucifix at hand.
Joan Didion
I was actually permitting myself to experience a sickening sense of disappointment: but rallying my wits, and recollecting my principles, I at once called my sensations to order; and it was wonderful how I got over the temporary blunder--how I cleared up the mistake of supposing Mr. Rochester's movements a matter in which I had any cause to take vital interest. Not that I humbled myself by a slavish notion of inferiority: on the contrary, I just said-- "You have nothing to do with the master of Thornfield further than to receive the salary he gives you for teaching his protegee and to be grateful for such respectful and kind treatment as, if you do your duty, you have a right to expect at his hands. Be sure that is the only tie he seriously acknowledges between you and him, so don't make him the object of your fine feelings, your raptures, agonies, and so forth. He is not of your order: keep to your caste; and be too self-respecting to lavish the love of the whole heart, soul, and strength, where such a gift is not wanted and would be despised.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Now I don’t see anything evil in a desire to make money. But money is only a means to some end. If a man wants it for a personal purpose — to invest in his industry, to create, to study, to travel, to enjoy luxury — he’s completely moral. But the men who place money first go much beyond that. Personal luxury is a limited endeavor. What they want is ostentation: to show, to stun, to entertain, to impress others… At the price of their own self-respect. In the realm of greatest importance — the realm of values, of judgment, of spirit, of thought — they place others above self, in the exact manner which altruism demands. A truly selfish man cannot be affected by the approval of others. He doesn’t need it.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac. In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting. Political language...is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind. War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it. Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. (On the manipulation of language for political ends.) We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.
George Orwell (Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays)
If you personally advocate that I be caged if I don't pay for whatever "government" things YOU want, please don't pretend to be tolerant, or non-violent, or enlightened, or compassionate. Don't pretend you believe in "live and let live," and don't pretend you want peace, freedom or harmony. It's a simple truism that the only people in the world who are willing to "live and let live" are voluntaryists. So you can either PRETEND to care about and respect your fellow man while continuing to advocate widespread authoritarian violence, or you can embrace the concepts of self-ownership and peaceful coexistence, and become an anarchist.
Larken Rose
Art, literature, and philosophy are attempts to found the world anew on a human freedom: that of the creator; to foster such an aim, one must first unequivocally posit oneself as a freedom. The restrictions that education and custom impose on a woman limit her grasp of the universe...Indeed, for one to become a creator, it is not enough to be cultivated, that is, to make going to shows and meeting people part of one's life; culture must be apprehended through the free movement of a transcendence; the spirit with all its riches must project itself in an empty sky that is its to fill; but if a thousand fine bonds tie it to the earth, its surge is broken. The girl today can certainly go out alone, stroll in the Tuileries; but I have already said how hostile the street is: eyes everywhere, hands waiting: if she wanders absentmindedly, her thoughts elsewhere, if she lights a cigarette in a cafe, if she goes to the cinema alone, an unpleasant incident can quickly occur; she must inspire respect by the way she dresses and behaves: this concern rivets her to the ground and self. "Her wings are clipped." At eighteen, T.E. Lawrence went on a grand tour through France by bicycle; a young girl would never be permitted to take on such an adventure...Yet such experiences have an inestimable impact: this is how an individual in the headiness of freedom and discovery learns to look at the entire world as his fief...[The girl] may feel alone within the world: she never stands up in front of it, unique and sovereign.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
We find these joys to be self evident: That all children are created whole, endowed with innate intelligence, with dignity and wonder, worthy of respect. The embodiment of life, liberty and happiness, children are original blessings, here to learn their own song. Every girl and boy is entitled to love, to dream and belong to a loving “village.” And to pursue a life of purpose. We affirm our duty to nourish and nurture the young, to honour their caring ideals as the heart of being human. To recognize the early years as the foundation of life, and to cherish the contribution of young children to human evolution. We commit ourselves to peaceful ways and vow to keep from harm or neglect these, our most vulnerable citizens. As guardians of their prosperity we honour the bountiful Earth whose diversity sustains us. Thus we pledge our love for generations to come.
Raffi Cavoukian
People don't need enormous cars; they need admiration and respect. They don't need a constant stream of new clothes; they need to feel that others consider them to be attractive, and they need excitement and variety and beauty. People don't need electronic entertainment; they need something interesting to occupy their minds and emotions. And so forth. Trying to fill real but nonmaterial needs-for identity, community, self-esteem, challenge, love, joy-with material things is to set up an unquenchable appetite for false solutions to never-satisfied longings. A society that allows itself to admit and articulate its nonmaterial human needs, and to find nonmaterial ways to satisfy them, world require much lower material and energy throughputs and would provide much higher levels of human fulfillment.
Donella H. Meadows (The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update)
I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good. To be admired, loved, and respected. To have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married, and to lead useful, pleasant lives, with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send. To be loved and chosen by a good man is the best and sweetest thing which can happen to a woman, and I sincerely hope my girls may know this beautiful experience. It is natural to think of it, Meg, right to hope and wait for it, and wise to prepare for it, so that when the happy time comes, you may feel ready for the duties and worthy of the joy. My dear girls, I am ambitious for you, but not to have you make a dash in the world, marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid houses, which are not homes because love is wanting. Money is a needful and precious thing, and when well used, a noble thing, but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I'd rather see you poor men's wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women (Little Women #1))
I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. The only God I believe in is the One Nietzsche ridiculed as 'God on the cross.' In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in Godforsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of his. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross that symbolizes divine suffering. 'The cross of Christ ... is God’s only self-justification in such a world” as ours....' 'The other gods were strong; but thou wast weak; they rode, but thou didst stumble to a throne; But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak, And not a god has wounds, but thou alone.
John R.W. Stott (Cross)
You may go over the world and you will find that every form of religion which has breathed upon this earth has degraded woman... I have been traveling over the old world during the last few years and have found new food for thought. What power is it that makes the Hindoo woman burn herself upon the funeral pyre of her husband? Her religion. What holds the Turkish woman in the harem? Her religion. By what power do the Mormons perpetuate their system of polygamy? By their religion/ Man, of himself, could not do this; but when he declares, 'Thus saith the Lord,' of course he can do it. So long as ministers stand up and tell us Christ is the head of the church, so is man the head of woman, how are we to break the chains which have held women down through the ages? You Christian women look at the Hindoo, the Turkish, the Mormon women, and wonder how they can be held in such bondage... Now I ask you if our religion teaches the dignity of woman? It teaches us the abominable idea of the sixth century--Augustine's idea--that motherhood is a curse; that woman is the author of sin, and is most corrupt. Can we ever cultivate any proper sense of self-respect as long as women take such sentiments from the mouths of the priesthood?
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Boundaries—You respect my boundaries, and when you’re not clear about what’s okay and not okay, you ask. You’re willing to say no. Reliability—You do what you say you’ll do. At work, this means staying aware of your competencies and limitations so you don’t overpromise and are able to deliver on commitments and balance competing priorities. Accountability—You own your mistakes, apologize, and make amends. Vault—You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share. I need to know that my confidences are kept, and that you’re not sharing with me any information about other people that should be confidential. Integrity—You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them. Nonjudgment—I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgment. Generosity—You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others. Self-trust is often a casualty
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Rochester talking to Jane: I see no enemy to a fortunate issue but in the brow; and that brow professes to say,--'I can live alone, if self-respect and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure, born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld; or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.' The forehead declares, 'Reason sits firm and holds the reins, and she will not let the feelings burst away and hurry her to wild chasms. The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desires may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgment shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision. Strong wind, earthquake-shock, and fire may pass by: but I shall follow the guiding of that still small voice which interprets the dictates of conscience'"
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
The difference between a criminal and an outlaw is that while criminals frequently are victims, outlaws never are. Indeed, the first step toward becoming a true outlaw is the refusal to be victimized. All people who live subject to other people's laws are victims. People who break laws out of greed, frustration, or vengeance are victims. People who overturn laws in order to replace them with their own laws are victims. ( I am speaking here of revolutionaries.) We outlaws, however, live beyond the law. We don't merely live beyond the letter of the law-many businessmen, most politicians, and all cops do that-we live beyond the spirit of the law. In a sense, then, we live beyond society. Have we a common goal, that goal is to turn the tables on the 'nature' of society. When we succeed, we raise the exhilaration content of the universe. We even raise it a little bit when we fail. When war turns whole populations into sleepwalkers, outlaws don't join forces with alarm clocks. Outlaws, like poets, rearrange the nightmare. The trite mythos of the outlaw; the self-conscious romanticism of the outlaw; the black wardrobe of the outlaw; the fey smile of the outlaw; the tequila of the outlaw and the beans of the outlaw; respectable men sneer and say 'outlaw'; young women palpitate and say 'outlaw'. The outlaw boat sails against the flow; outlaws toilet where badgers toilet. All outlaws are photogenic. 'When freedom is outlawed, only outlaws will be free.' There are outlaw maps that lead to outlaw treasures. Unwilling to wait for mankind to improve, the outlaw lives as if that day were here. Outlaws are can openers in the supermarket of life.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
Tony:...but you need something to do about Noah. Paul: I know, I know. The only problem being that (a) he thinks I'm getting back with my ex-boyfriend, (b) he thinks I'll only hurt him, because (c) I've already hurt him and (d) someone else has already hurt him, which means that I'm hurting him even more. So (e) he doesn't trust me, and in all fairness, (g) every time I see him, I (h) want everything to be right again and I (i) want to kiss him madly. This means that (j) my feelings aren't going away anytime soon, but (k) his feelings don't look likely to budge, either. So either (l) I'm out of luck, (m) I'm out of hope, or (n) there's a way to make it up to him that I'm not thinking of. I could (o) beg, (p) plead, (q) grovel, or (r) give up. But, in order to do that, I would have to sacrifice my (s) pride, (t) reputation, and (u) self-respect, even though (v) I have very little of them left and (w) it probably wouldn't work anyway. As a result, I am (x) lost, (y) clue-free, and (z) wondering if you have any idea whatsoever what I should do.
David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy)
One of the things that strikes me most though is how some people don't realise they're self-harming. The phrase 'self-harm' brings up thoughts of 'cutting', but that's only a small portion of it. When you drink excessively to drown your sorrows to the point you throw up and can't see straight and/or, like a girl at my school, ended up being driven to hospital to have her stomach pumped, you've brought harm to yourself. If you take drugs to feel numb and it becomes an addiction that you can't break, you've self-harmed. When you starve yourself or binge eat to fit the latest fashions, you're pushing your body further than it can go. We need to start treating ourselves how we deserve to be treated, even if you feel that no one else does. Prove to the world you ARE worth something by treating yourself with the utmost respect and hope that other people will follow your example. And even if they don't, at least one person in the world is treating you well: YOU.
Carrie Hope Fletcher (All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully)
When basic human needs are ignored, rejected, or invalidated by those in roles and positions to appropriately meet them; when the means by which these needs have been previously met are no longer available: and when prior abuse has already left one vulnerable for being exploited further, the stage is set for the possibility these needs will be prostituted. This situation places a survivor who has unmet needs in an incredible dilemma. She can either do without or seek the satisfaction of mobilized needs through some "illegitimate" source that leaves her increasingly divided from herself and ostracized from others. While meeting needs in this way resolves the immediate existential experience of deprivation and abandonment. it produces numerous other difficulties. These include experiencing oneself as “bad” or "weak" for having such strong needs; experiencing shame and guilt for relying on “illegitimate” sources of satisfaction: experiencing a loss of self-respect for indulging in activities contrary to personal moral standards of conduct; risking the displeasure and misunderstanding of others important to her; and opening oneself to the continued abuse and victimization of perpetrators who are all too willing to selfishly use others for their own pleasure and purposes under the guise of being 'helpful.
J. Jeffrey Means
Maria, lonely prostitute on a street of pain, You, at least, hail me and speak to me While a thousand others ignore my face. You offer me an hour of love, And your fees are not as costly as most. You are the madonna of the lonely, The first-born daughter in a world of pain. You do not turn fat men aside, Or trample on the stuttering, shy ones, You are the meadow where desperate men Can find a moment's comfort. Men have paid more to their wives To know a bit of peace And could not walk away without the guilt That masquerades as love. You do not bind them, lovely Maria, you comfort them And bid them return. Your body is more Christian than the Bishop's Whose gloved hand cannot feel the dropping of my blood. Your passion is as genuine as most, Your caring as real! But you, Maria, sacred whore on the endless pavement of pain, You, whose virginity each man may make his own Without paying ought but your fee, You who know nothing of virgin births and immaculate conceptions, You who touch man's flesh and caress a stranger, Who warm his bed to bring his aching skin alive, You make more sense than stock markets and football games Where sad men beg for virility. You offer yourself for a fee--and who offers himself for less? At times you are cruel and demanding--harsh and insensitive, At times you are shrewd and deceptive--grasping and hollow. The wonder is that at times you are gentle and concerned, Warm and loving. You deserve more respect than nuns who hide their sex for eternal love; Your fees are not so high, nor your prejudice so virtuous. You deserve more laurels than the self-pitying mother of many children, And your fee is not as costly as most. Man comes to you when his bed is filled with brass and emptiness, When liquor has dulled his sense enough To know his need of you. He will come in fantasy and despair, Maria, And leave without apologies. He will come in loneliness--and perhaps Leave in loneliness as well. But you give him more than soldiers who win medals and pensions, More than priests who offer absolution And sweet-smelling ritual, More than friends who anticipate his death Or challenge his life, And your fee is not as costly as most. You admit that your love is for a fee, Few women can be as honest. There are monuments to statesmen who gave nothing to anyone Except their hungry ego, Monuments to mothers who turned their children Into starving, anxious bodies, Monuments to Lady Liberty who makes poor men prisoners. I would erect a monument for you-- who give more than most-- And for a meager fee. Among the lonely, you are perhaps the loneliest of all, You come so close to love But it eludes you While proper women march to church and fantasize In the silence of their rooms, While lonely women take their husbands' arms To hold them on life's surface, While chattering women fill their closets with clothes and Their lips with lies, You offer love for a fee--which is not as costly as most-- And remain a lonely prostitute on a street of pain. You are not immoral, little Maria, only tired and afraid, But you are not as hollow as the police who pursue you, The politicians who jail you, the pharisees who scorn you. You give what you promise--take your paltry fee--and Wander on the endless, aching pavements of pain. You know more of universal love than the nations who thrive on war, More than the churches whose dogmas are private vendettas made sacred, More than the tall buildings and sprawling factories Where men wear chains. You are a lonely prostitute who speaks to me as I pass, And I smile at you because I am a lonely man.
James Kavanaugh (There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves)