It’s always up to us how we live our life. Nobody else can take responsibility for how we live our life except ourselves. This life wisdom is essential when it comes to being able to live a fulfilled life.
A fulfilled life is a life filled with life. This may sound redundant – or overly simple. Perhaps it was better expressed by Abraham Lincoln, who said: “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
When we think about how we can create a fulfilled life we inevitably find the important role of esteem. Esteem enriches our life in a very effective way because it makes us more conscious about ourselves as well as the world around us. Esteem makes us sensitive toward the sense of human life.
With esteem we stop wasting our life with unkind thoughts or dissatisfaction. We concentrate on the important things in life such as giving attention toward people and creating happiness with it.
The more consciously we live our life the more we fill it with life. Esteem helps us to live our life consciously and to fill our life with life.
Today the world celebrates International Youth Day. Today all of us can remember to show esteem toward the young people we meet.
Sometimes older people have a hard time giving esteem to the youth, especially when the youth show little regard in return.
In moments like this we need to remind ourselves that young people are in a difficult transition phase of life. They are no longer children and not yet adults. This means also that they don’t get the children’s esteem nor an adult’s esteem.
In any case – even when it’s difficult – young people deserve esteem as much as everybody else. With esteem their self-development will help them move in the right direction.
Young people are an important part of our society and should be given the opportunity to take on responsibility. In order to be able to take responsibility for their actions young people need to get esteem.
We can give esteem ourselves toward young people by encouraging them to do good and by being an esteemful example.
Another way to give esteem toward youth can be found in the Global Youth Leadership Institute. Their mission is to inspire socially responsible young people to develop their leadership abilities for communities through empathy and service for others. Dynamic programs are offered for students and teachers on the topics of global pluralism and diversity, native American traditions, environmental awareness, school community partnerships, and the inner calls of teaching and learning.
One of their events takes place in New Mexico from July 15-20, 2009. Students entering 11th grade can learn to develop a personal leadership vision through the guidance of a native elder. A primary goal is discovering the self-sufficiency of a life close to nature.
Events like these give young people the feeling of being precious – an important impact esteem can create. As a response these young persons will be able to give esteem toward the people they meet throughout their life.
The term Biophilia means “love of life or living systems”. It was first used by German philosopher Erich Fromm who defined it as being attracted to all that is alive.
Biophilia describes something we all experience in our life: it’s our subconscious search for the connection to nature by enjoying the diversity of life on earth. With other words: human beings’ deep affiliation with nature must be rooted in our biology.
Biophilia can also just be another word for esteem toward nature.
There are moments in our life when we realize our connection to nature. It can be something as simple as observing a beautiful butterfly.
We experience our esteem toward nature as feelings of respect, of admiration and of responsibility.
We can easily come up with a range of excuses for our actions. The same can be said for words or feelings as well as for potentially bad situations we want to avoid. At first view it seems to be the easiest way to excuse ourselves.
But this is a path which leads away from self-honesty and consequentially from self-esteem.
After a while we feel deeply uncomfortable. It’s the inner voice of our self-esteem telling us that we lost the connection to our core.
Along with self-esteem, self-honesty is a deeply human attitude. We can destroy them both by giving responsibility for our actions to outer situations or persons. When we take the responsibility for our life we encourage self-esteem as well as self-honesty.
Next time you feel tempted to make excuses to avoid responsibility, take pause for a moment. Your self-esteem will tell you unequivocally that self-honesty is the better way.
Sometimes speaking about self-esteem is easier when we add humor.
Humor allows us to laugh at ourselves in a way that helps our self-esteem to stay healthy. With humor we can go through life’s difficult situations more easily. Having humor doesn’t mean we don’t take life seriously. On the contrary, humor looks at life in its most genuine essence and enables us to recognize deepest truths about ourselves.
Most of our daily esteem activities are directed toward the persons around us. Other esteem actions can have a bigger influence.
60-year-old former pro basketball player Will Allen found his personal way of giving esteem toward groups of people.
As enthusiastic gardener for urban gardening he founded a non-profit organization called Growing Power. He purchased an old greenhouse, revived it and took a group of at-risk children under his wing with the goal transforming their lives through gardening.
His idea has made its way around the world, from Ghana to Ukraine, teaching people how to build and maintain an urban garden.
Allen teaches that gardening can be a very esteemful activity, esteemful toward nature and toward ourselves. People start to acknowledge what nature is giving, start to eat healthier and learn that they are able to successfully grow vegetables and plants. This makes people feel precious and responsible toward nature and themselves.
For city students sometimes it may be difficult to come into contact with nature. Contact is the first step toward esteem and respect for nature.
Third-graders at Linwood E. Howe Elementary in Culver City, CA had the unique opportunity to make a step toward nature thanks to a few slippery friends.
Trout in the Classroom is a nationwide program to bring information about trout into city classrooms. The trout program lasts three months, with students recording a variety of behavior information before they release the fish back into the streams.
Learning esteem toward nature is basic learning for life. When students know more about nature they learn about responsibility, respect and the connectedness of human beings with nature.
Sometimes people show their esteem toward animals by taking life-saving actions.
On January 1, 2009, two fishermen in the Philippines rescued a giant sea cow which had become trapped on the shore by a low tide.
Sea cows, also called Dugongs, are a highly endangered species. They’re known to live up to 70 years but to give birth to only one calf in their lives. Due to unprotected hunting and habitat degradation in the past, these gentle animals face extinction.
The fishermen of the Palawan island’s Puerto Princesa city showed respect toward the sea cow and took the responsibility upon themselves to save its life. When they discovered the huge animal on the shore they gently pushed it back into deep water until it could swim away.
Living esteem also created a good feeling in people witnessing the event. They cheered the fishermen on as the sea cow was accompanied toward open sea.
It may sound odd to connect self-esteem with pets. But let’s take a closer look at the effect pets have on us.
There are numerous studies proving that healing of illnesses increases when pets are around patients. It’s also known that only stroking the silky fur of a cat or bunny can lower our blood pressure.
Pets make us feel good, no doubt about that. But where is the connection to our self-esteem? There are two points that bring self-esteem and pets together.
One is the fact that having a pet makes us feel responsible. Having responsibility gives us the feeling of being needed. We recognize ourselves as important. Pets give us the conviction that our life is meaningful. There is no better way to grow our self-esteem than to feel ourselves as precious.
The other point comes from the pets themselves. They accept us as we are with all our weaknesses and maybe mistakes. They love us implicitly and show this each day. There is no better way to strengthen our self-esteem than to get unconditioned love.