The Armor of Self-Respect

Self-respect realizes that no one but himself can degrade the individual. The undeserved insult which may sting for a moment he forgets quickly in the thought that it is only a revelation of the character of the source from which it comes; that he himself is invulnerable from insult when he is right, when the armour of self-respect makes attack harmless.” ~ William George Jordan

I can hardly imagine a more valuable lesson than this gem, penned by William George Jordan over one hundred years ago: “Self-respect realizes that no one but himself can degrade the individual.”

When you finally understand this, you are released from the oppression of the human condition. You no longer have to wrestle with the feelings that arise when you are wronged – the anger, the desire for vengeance, the self-pity – and you never again see yourself as a victim.

Self-respect is a radiant quality that protects you from the worse that the world can throw at you. As simple as it may sound, self-respect allows you to overcome the world.

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5 Responses to The Armor of Self-Respect

  1. Colin says:

    You are the only one who can degrade you. It is not only a nice thought, it is a fact. It is the ultimate armor, but it is also the ultimate responsibility. Over these blog posts, there have been many ways given to avoid self-degradation. The one that I think of today, that will combine with your self respect to make you invulnerable to victimhood, is to always be looking for the next step up. If you at always looking for an opportunity, coupled with the integrity of true self respect, your sense of responsibility will always take you where you need to go.

  2. Lady Leo says:

    Great point. We all prefer our trusted friends but don’t live in dread of those that live to spoil. Self-respect needs no outside affirmation of worth and gives the largesse of letting each person reveal themselves as they will.

  3. Beth C says:

    So true. The radiance of self-respect will be felt by others as generosity, trust, and encouragement. Some will love this, others object – sometimes vehemently. Either way self-respect is itself unchanged.

  4. Kolya says:

    This is a gem. To truly understand this frees us from trying to please others or concern of what others think – two driving motivations that underlie most of what people say and do. Thanks for sharing this great post.

  5. Troy Brownridge says:

    I remembered this post and came back to it today. Well said!

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