The Secret Spring

There are men whose self-respect seems to have died or gone on a long vacation. Revive that self-respect, and you begin the moral regeneration of the man. Religion itself never really reaches a man until it touches the secret spring of his self-respect. One of the chief causes of making confirmed criminals out of first offenders—outside of the prison associations—is that their self-respect is chloroformed, if not actually killed. They feel the prison brand, the prison taint, the prison poison, in their memories, making them feel they are no longer men, but outcasts. If the warm breath of possibilities of a new, better life can fan the faintest spark of self-respect among the gray ashes into flame, the man begins to thrill with the new glad hope and confidence that he can wipe away the old past in better living, as sunrise banishes the darkness.” ~ William George Jordan

Sacredness is the atmosphere of self-respect. It forms naturally around one who is deeply reverent for the privilege of living.

Sacredness, like life, is never destroyed. However, it is withdrawn from manifestation whenever there is not a vehicle capable of its expression. Every person on earth has the capacity for the generation and maintenance of sacredness. Moreover, the ability to generate and function within varying levels of sacredness is the core essence of our humanity.

No matter how knowledgeable our educational system renders its students, it is worth little to nothing if it does not, underneath and through it all, draw forth the self-respect inherent in each one.

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8 Responses to The Secret Spring

  1. MMc says:

    When people lose their self respect there is no depth they can not fall to. That’s why political or religious systems designed to “take care” of everyone’s “needs” are soul crushing as they rob or negate the personal responsibilty that builds self respect.

  2. Kai Newell says:

    ESSENTIAL points!

  3. Flow says:

    Great post! Thanks.

  4. David R says:

    What is held sacred constitutes the point of stability for any person. Of course, that point of stability can be a questionable one. Mediocrity, for instance, is a sacred tenet for many. Personal gratification can be the highest sacredness, even revenge or spite!

    Ultimately, of course, the fact that someone holds something sacred doesn’t make it so, except in a limited sense for that person. False gods ultimately fail to deliver on their promises. To acknowledge this in a personal sense so that one is willing to release the appearance of stability is a crucial step in the discovery of what is truly sacred. Whether or not one will trade imaginary stability for discovery of the real thing becomes the central issue.

  5. Melissa Hake says:

    This is like the plight of so many people struggling to “wipe the slate clean” for the beginning of the new year. Letting the darkness of the past be brightened by the renewing quality of light (that is ironically just as available to us in the everyday sunrises as it is in the sunrise of the new year) is all that is required. We take away our own self respect or light by allowing a dimmed or less-than-sacred atmosphere to darken the life we have been blessed with. Making a resolution to change the quality of what we express is available to us in every minute, not just the new year. I think there is freedom in realizing our options for change are daily and not just yearly or with the changing seasons. I want to let the sunrise for 2012 while I’m still in 2011! 🙂

    Thank you for such a timely post!

  6. Scarlett says:

    When there is no self-respect, callouses form in our our hearts and minds and we lose the ability to perceive and empathize. At the risk of sounding cliche, each day is a new day and regardless of what we’ve done in the past, we still have the chance to live a meaningful life.

  7. Colin says:

    Jordan wrote about feeling the “prison poison”, and while it is true that our past actions can affect our future opportunities, the only one who can lose self-respect is the individual. part of having self-respect is being able to see past mistakes for what they were, and making a firm change in a different direction. Don’t ever think that you are too tainted to make a change in your life for the better, because that opportunity is available to every person, every minute of every day.

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