“There is a certain reserve in self-respect, a reverence for the fine dignity of the individual self, which keeps man from taking the whole world into his confidence. His real, deeper self he keeps for those who are nearest and dearest. There are men and women who, at the first meeting, as mere casual acquaintances, take you through the windings of their most intimate thoughts, feelings, and experiences. You have a sense of shock at their sudden housecleaning and fumigation of the emotions, as though you were looking at someone in a bathrobe walking down the street. Like the holy place behind the veil in the tabernacle, where even the high priest could enter but once a year, there are some memories, episodes, and experiences in the individual life that are sacred. Self-respect realizes that this sanctuary is no place for a crowd of tourists.” William George Jordan
One of the casualties of the internet is the sense of reserve that comes with having to own up to those things you say and write. I’m sure you’ve read a string of comments after a Youtube post or watched how nasty people become when commenting on other forums under a pseudonym. Reserve is disregarded by cowards cloaked in anonymity.
Granted there is a broad spectrum of people, some who prefer to be extremely private and others who are more open and gregarious, but I have to agree with Mr. Jordan’s assertion that there are levels of sacredness for a good reason. One of the challenges we’ve faced throughout history is that of functioning in a way that the levels can safely appear. Sacredness cannot be destroyed, but it is withdrawn when in the presence of coarseness of any kind.
You cannot generate sacredness beyond yourself if you lack self-respect. You must love and be honest with yourself before you can truly love and be honest with anyone else. Self-respect is the starting point, not the final destination. It is the means by which dignity is made manifest on earth.