Author Archives: Kay

Self Respect > Self Esteem!

Readers who have become familiar with my writings over the past few months may have noticed a very prevalent theme – that of the individual and their own personal response to the world around them. Examples can be found in Do You HAVE Character, or ARE You a Character, Freedom OF Thought or Freedom FROM Thought, and Libertarianism = Personal Responsibility. This post also goes rather hand in hand I think with Quincy’s post on Humble equality vs. haughty equality.

The reasons that I am so enamoured of subjects pertaining to the character is that I clearly see that ONLY by cultivation of positive traits in the individual can we hope to ever engender a change in society.

I’ve titled this piece Self Respect (is greater than) Self Esteem, because I feel that a distinction needs to be made in how we have been and are being educated in our public schools and how that focus should make a shift to promote positive self-image through self-respect (not self-esteem) .

For many years, our schools, psychologists, psychiatrists, parents, etc. have pushed the notions that self-esteem is the absolute pinnacle upon which success or failure in life rests – that without self-esteem, we are unable to survive this world.

In fact, the evidence over the years has shown just the opposite – overinflated egos and grandiose impressions of self-worth abound. Parents allowing children to “do their own thing” for fear of stunting their growth as persons coupled with the ideas of “you’re as good as (with the implication being that you’re really better than) anyone else” being promoted in the public school system are ruining our youth, and have already had disasterous effects on our country.

Some young people are introspective enough to realize that something is amiss. The teen rates of suicide, anorexia, self-mutiliation, etc. have skyrocketed in the last 50 years. I believe there is a direct correlation of the self-abuse rate and the changes in what our children are being taught both at school and at home. Those Teens and even young children who have not been jaded by an over inflated self-esteem realize that there are others who are prettier, more handsome, taller, shorter, thinner, more muscular, etc. They know their own hearts and can see that all is not beautiful and lovely inside. It leads to poor self-image and hatred – depending on other factors – of either self or everyone else. Such hatred is what leads to anorexia, self-mutilation – and situations like Columbine.

Self-respect is what should be stressed to our children rather than self-esteem. It is self-respect that teaches children that the company of those who look down on them is not acceptable or desired. Within self-respect teaching is room for humility, and that’s a good thing. Gifts bestowed on some may be more readily apparent (physical attractiveness or sterling intellect) but if encouraged to seek out those less apparent gifts, young people can learn to not base their self worth on self-image or an inflated self-esteem.

My sister and I were chatting over the cooking of our family Thanksgiving Dinner yesterday, and this was one of the things we were talking about. We both have and have had friends, who allowed themselves to be treated like doormats by boyfriends or spouses. Thanks to the strong upbringing we had from parents who cherished us and were diligent to correct the misconceptions taught in public school, we both learned self-respect at an early age. As such, it’s hard for us to imagine giving up our self-respect to be treated as we see them allowing themselves to be treated. It’s important to teach children from a young age that if they’re mistreated by someone within their peer-group that they need not feel pressure to fit in or appease them – it’s best to just move on. No one should ever desire to be where they’re not wanted – because that leads only to heartache, frustration, and compromised values. And self-respect teaches children to move out and move on.

As an example – we were out a few months ago at a small public event where a group of folks we knew (and many we didn’t) were sitting around in lawn chairs. Our daughters (then 8 & 10) were playing and invited another little girl (unknown to them) and her sister to sit and play with them. The younger quickly accepted the invitation but her sister (probably about 13) responded “I don’t play with children”. One of my daughters spoke up and said to her “My sister and I play with anyone we want to play with, regardless of age.” I didn’t get to hear about the comment first hand – but heard about it later through a third party. It really tickled me, and I wondered if the 13 year old had the sense to comprehend the stinging rebuke issued her by a child she considered beneath her. It pleased me as a mother to hear that perhaps my teachings are not falling on deaf ears.

One of the maxims that my family hears me repeat fairly often is “there should always be some thing that you’re NOT willing to do for money”. We’ve never watched reality TV shows because, first off, they bear no resemblance to reality, and second, we have better things to do with our time. But it was when I first saw some of the teaser commercials for “Fear Factor” that I first issued that proclamation to my family – and I still feel strongly about it. Eating some kind of hideous or horrendous concoction is not something I would ever do for money. To keep from starving, perhaps – but not for money. And even if starving, there are some things I wouldn’t do – and cannibalism would be one of the boundaries I don’t think I could ever cross. There are things worse than death. You see, self respect would not allow it, as I don’t think I could live with myself if I crossed that boundary.

Self-respect is also important in the working world. It allows one to take responsibility for ones mistakes – and sometimes to concede if there is a question. It does not, however, lead to accepting responsibility carte-blanche. I’ve been in situations where I found I had to stand up for myself on principal and have done so. Sometimes to be promoted for it, other times to be chastised – but always to know within heart and mind that I’d done right. It’s a much better way to live – and easier to live with yourself when you’ve got self-respect. I’ll take it any day over an inflated self esteem.

Homeschooling Security Mom, Political Junkie, Believe in upholding the Constitution – and subscribe to the theory that gun control is the ability to hit your target!

Freedom OF Thought, or Freedom FROM Thought?

A comment on a previous entry led me to think a bit about how we let what we read, hear, and see affect our opinions and thoughts. Freedom of thought (not freedom from it) is vitally important to our survival in the future as people who love Life, Liberty & Property. As the old saying goes, those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and there are many things going on in the world today that bear some careful thought and consideration.

In our day to day world, there are many occasions when we make judgement calls about things in which we have valid, useful, first-hand information. These are situations where we can be relatively certain that our judgement is accurate. We’ve looked at all the angles, and using the knowledge we’ve gained, we’ve determined the correct way to proceed.

How many times, though, do we see, hear, or read about situations in which we make a snap judgement based only on what we’ve watched on TV, heard on the radio, or read in the newspapers or online? Have you ever changed your mind after that snap judgement? Do you ever go seeking to find out if what you saw/heard/read was accurate? You see, it a world filled with so much media, we must really be sure that we’re exercising our freedom OF thought – not our freedom FROM thought. Freedom of thought allows us to step back and say, “Wow, that really sounds interesting – I wonder if it’s accurate?” Freedom from thought says “well, it must be so or they couldn’t produce/publish it.”

Freedom of thought will lead us to search every avenue available on a subject of interest rather than jumping on the nearest bandwagon. And, if you exercise your freedom of thought, you might just come to some really interesting conclusions – conclusions that may turn your original thoughts or established beliefs completely upside down. This kind of thinking, be forewarned, is not popular – and may cause you a great deal of grief, because bucking the establishment in any form will cause you to be ridiculed or held up as an imbecile to others. Yet it can be richly rewarding to self – if you can get past the need for accolades from others – to know, within your own heart and mind, that you’re not just blindly following the crowd.

My dad, whom I mentioned in a previous post, is a Minister. Dad taught us well – by example – that we should never pass anything along to others without doing our homework to try to insure that we were not passing along gossip or garbage. Incidentally, LOL, friends can tell you that I have never passed along chain emails and spam – and that more than one of them has received a link back to one of the urban legend debunking sites!

Recently, dad and I were talking about the word “Knowledge”. Dad laid it out to me in a way that I’d never thought about. Breaking the word into its separate syllables, it becomes “Know Ledge”. When we think about acquiring knowledge, we think of it as a climb up a ladder. When we’ve learned something concrete, we’ve reached a “know ledge”. We can stand on it. It’s firm. It’s a ledge on which we can place our trust, and from it we can rest and “chew the fat” about what we’ve learned until we’re ready to climb to the next level of “know ledge”.

Now, getting back to the ideas of freedom of thought and freedom from thought, whenever we gain knowledge from our research, we must sometimes use all our senses to discern truth. As the saying goes “the truth is out there”. While there are things that we can’t ever know for certain, if we at least take the time to search, using the knowledge that we can stand on (be it understanding of human nature, concrete science, or first hand information) we can at least be sure of using our freedom of thought to do the best humanly possible to grasp the realities of any situation. And wouldn’t that be better, always, than letting our brains atrophy in the mire of freedom FROM thought?

Edited from original post at Left Brain Female

Homeschooling Security Mom, Political Junkie, Believe in upholding the Constitution – and subscribe to the theory that gun control is the ability to hit your target!

Who is Kay?

Wife, Mother, Political “Junkie”, Teacher, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Photographer . . . Not necessarily in that order! As a home-schooling mom, I wear a lot of hats.

I’m Kay (known to some of you as Left Brain Female), a 40-something who loves her life, family, and freedom. In my work life before children, I was a secretary, sales representative, catering manager, reservations manager, typographer & editor. In my personal life before children, I was a student pilot, amateur actress, genealogist and bookworm. My widely varied background has translated fairly well to being a stay-at-home mom. I no longer fly (never did get my pilots license – I was young and it became cost prohibative – but I did solo a few times). I’m no longer involved in little theater (although that could change one day), I still love genealogy and have traced my family history back to the 1500’s in early America. I don’t read as much as I used to read, and I tend to be more familiar these days with children’s authors than others. I generally prefer great literature rather than bubble-gum non-nutritional junk food for the mind, and I’m trying to instill that preference in my daughters, who at 9 and 11 enjoy reading and learning about history.

My hubby, Tony (aka SurfinDaddy) is a 50-something who enjoys surfing (having grown up about two blocks from the beach) and rather than be a surf widow, when the waves are good, we go with him to play on the beach and I do some amateur surf photography. Tony is very laid-back and has patiently listened to me over the years as I’ve ranted over political issues that irritate me – and in the process has become a great sounding board as well. He often helps to congeal my thoughts into something a bit more cohesive – and encourages me to put them in writing.

I became a real computer geek after I quit my job when our youngest was born – I’ve built and maintained several computers and played around with a number of websites. I really got inspired after 9/11 and the Iraq War began to try to see if there were anything I could do to make a difference. Bloggers 4 Freedom was born of that thought, and while it hasn’t set the world on fire, it certainly helped with my mental attitude – just the act of “doing something” is cathartic for me.

While my family attends church regularly, and I am daughter of a minister, you won’t hear a lot from me on the subject of Christianity. For one thing, it was (and is) ingrained in me that talk is cheap – and actions speak louder than words. Words are powerful – but only if they’re directed at someone who is interested in hearing what you have to say – and as most people are not looking to be “converted” to anyone’s way of thinking, my personal credo is that in the public forum, God doesn’t need me to open my mouth to anyone – He just expects me to conduct my behavior in such a way that others will see and glorify Him. And believe you me, when I don’t, I suffer the pangs of my own transgressions. And, politically, there are a number of so-called Christian “hot-buttons” that I refuse to touch, because, frankly, I don’t believe they have any business in politics. So while I may personally hold strong feelings about the morality of those issues, don’t expect to see me asking the government to legislate on them.

So you see, I’m very much on the side of the Sovreign Individual be it Libertarian, Rational Anarchist, or whatever you choose to call it.

Homeschooling Security Mom, Political Junkie, Believe in upholding the Constitution – and subscribe to the theory that gun control is the ability to hit your target!

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