Friday, July 11, 2014

Self esteem

Self esteem.  We all need it.  Some folks have an excess of self esteem.

Some have an empty vessel that should be filled with it.

A lot of money is spent by those seeking to raise their self esteem.

Why the disparity? Life gets in the way. Sometimes with good results, sometimes with not-so-good results. I seriously doubt there is a self-esteem gene - IMHO it's a learned experience.  Nurture, not nature. I'll use youth sports in this little ditty to try and make a point..

Some unfortunate folks are beaten down early in life.  Very early.  Mom and/or dad  simply do not understand or care what the ramifications of their constant browbeating on their kids actually are. Destroy a child's confidence and you destroy the child and possibly the adult that child will become. Prevent a child from learning  the disappointment that comes from losing is a disservice to that child and ultimately to society. Kids need to learn to be both good losers and good winners. Positive reinforcement in a negative circumstance is essential. Perhaps it's just my Western Jock mentality but it makes more sense to ground kids in reality than to to ignore it.  Of course we tell so many cultural lies to our kids  (Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Storks deliver babies - etc.)  that a dose of reality just might be refreshing.
I recall from my time as a participant in youth sports feeling like total crap when my team lost a baseball game.  Especially if I pitched. For about 10 minutes I was a real bear.  But as the pizza place was about 15 minutes away I happily put the loss aside and dove into a Pizza Joynt Confusion with both my teammates and the other team.  After all - we went to the same schools, played on the same sandlot teams and were most assuredly pals.  Between bites of pizza we were learning - unbeknownst to us - valuable life lessons. Sometimes the best lessons are learned without knowing they are being learned.

Not everyone is built to be a captain of industry. Not everyone is built to be a world-class athlete. Not everyone is built to be a philosopher - except maybe Ramana.  The trick is to recognize we are built to be ourselves and to be comfortable in our own skins. 

That's a quick shack-take on the weekly topic.  Please check the others in the LBC to see what they think.


  1. I have pretty much expounded my opinion over at Ramana's place but It would appear that you and I hold quite similar views on the subject of self esteem, with confidence being at its core and the parental nurturing of confidence a key in the beginning.

  2. a combination of nature and nurture indeed develops one's total personality and some take the road to loss of self confidence and some use that turning point to gain self confidence. That turning point makes the difference and why it happens to some and not to others is a matter for philsophers to worry about. No, one does not have to become anything or somebody to be a person with self esteem. In fact many high-fliers I know have poor self esteem!