Self-respect and self-esteem are “key words” that could be used to refer to the same thing: A sense of being worthy. Although psychologist may disagree; the semantics is irrelevant once we have a point of reference to discover those words in our experience.
In the consciousness of individuality, we have 2 “bi-polar” states: High self-esteem and low self-esteem. Very few could experience a steady balance.
Typically, to be “high” means to have a great ego: That person is the “center” of the world, the most important item after no one, the navel of the Universe, if you would… 🙂
In that state of ego-centrism, there should be a way to bring that ego down to a more manageable level, right?
That has been the task of religions.
“You are an impure, degraded sinner. You should feel ashamed of yourself. Ask for forgiveness, you sinner!” Sounds familiar? 🙂
There is a God who loves us, just as WE ARE. BUT, He wants us to change, to become better…otherwise, we will be punished…. We need to understand the following: To obey God is for our own good. We need to make the “right” choice…otherwise… well… 🙂
The issue is that to “shape up” or change is not a matter of making a “choice” as religions try to put it; but it is a matter of realization, that is consciousness, awareness. When there is realization, there is no need to choose.
Apparently religions went a bit too much in their “sinner” pitch throughout hundreds of years, developing guilt along with a sense of being unworthy in followers and by default, in the human psyche.
In that setting, the concept of “self-respect” appeared as a necessity to “fix” things.
Donald Duck feels like a worthless little duck. BUT once he found out that the multimillionaire, Scrooge McDuck; the richest duck in the world, was his direct relative; then at that point Donald thought of himself as being “someone” worth of respect. After all Donald Duck, belongs to the McDuck clan.
Note that Donald’s “self-respect” is based on the existence of someone else. In another setting:
“You should have self-respect because you know God.”
Q: But what about if Donald Duck had “something” in him. Could that “something” give him self-respect?
A:That will give him more ego.
Q: So, we should have nothing to avoid ego?
A: No. Something does not give you ego unless you think that you are worth “something” because of that.
In the consciousness of individuality, the quality and amount of “self-respect” that an individual may have is in direct proportion of inner knowledge, that is:
“Donald, Do you know yourself?”
Donald: “Yes I do. I am a computer programmer working for one of the finest computer firms in the world. I like chocolate and Lamborghinis… I am a caring, down to earth guy…”
That sort of “knowing yourself” brings a certain consciousness. “Self-respect” for that individual will be totally different than someone who has a deeper insight in the self.
Do we see the historical game of increasing/decreasing ego? It is the game of going from one extreme to the other. A “Bi-polar” game. 🙂
How is “self-respect” viewed from the consciousness of Totality?
That word does not exist, for the greatness of discovering our own “nothingness” is that “everything” is all that exists and “we” are part of that.
Thus, we could hear some “irrational” words such as: “By being nothing, we gain everything.”
Because there is “no-self,” there is automatically, respect, esteem, etc.