Tag Archives: wisdom

Self-esteem means self-responsibility

Dyer Change your thoughts self-responsibilityBlaming others for low self-esteem is like handing over control of ourselves.

Adult human beings are autonomic, independent and ultimately self-responsible.  Nobody else is living our life.

As it’s taken for granted that we accept our responsibility when we encounter success and happiness we should do the same when we encounter frustration or misfortune.

Our self-esteem is influenced by our response to both success and misfortune.  Only this – our answer – is to blame for low self-esteem.

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Esteem and the four cardinal virtues

 

Esteem is closely connected to the classic four cardinal virtues of wisdom, justice, courage and moderation.  The cardinal virtues aren’t out of fashion, they’re still important for a life full of esteem and respect for the fellow men.

Wisdom

Wisdom is more than knowledge, it’s more than accumulating know-how.  Wisdom is life experience making us patient and understanding – just like esteem does.

Greek philosopher Plato explained wisdom as “we know that we don’t know” meaning that there is no safe knowledge which we could defend.  When we live esteem toward others we feel the truth of this virtue.  Esteem prevents us from being self-opinionated.

On the other hand wisdom is explained as choosing the middle between two extremes creating harmony and peace.

In any case the virtue of wisdom helps us to make just and reasonable decisions because we show understanding for people and life situations.  The more we live esteem in our life the more we can integrate wisdom.

Justice

Justice, the second of the four cardinal virtues is another important foundation for humane society.  When we encounter injustice we discover that it diminishes our happiness and motivation to be fair ourselves.

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Esteem and the virtue of “moderation”

Moderation can easily be misunderstood as self-control in the meaning of suppressing emotions or abstention.  But moderation as a virtue means not being dominated by emotions expressed in the form of excess.

When we live esteem in our life we develop the virtue of moderation more easily because we already live patience and understanding.  Moderation goes strongly together with these two attitudes.

We also see moderation when people are not interrupting others because it’s more important to them to give esteem toward others than to insist on own opinions.

Moderation as forth virtue works together with the other three such as wisdom, justice and courage mutually encouraging and developing.

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Esteem and the virtue of “wisdom”

Wisdom is more than knowledge, it’s more than accumulating know-how.  Wisdom is life experience making us patient and understanding – just like esteem does.

Greek philosopher Plato explained wisdom as “we know that we don’t know” meaning that there is no safe knowledge which we could defend.  When we live esteem toward others we feel the truth of this virtue.  Esteem prevents us from being self-opinionated.

 

On the other hand wisdom is explained as choosing the middle between two extremes creating harmony and peace.

In any case the virtue of wisdom helps us to make just and reasonable decisions because we show understanding for people and life situations.  The more we live esteem in our life the more we can integrate wisdom.

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Esteem and the four cardinal virtues

Western culture is acquainted with the four cardinal virtues.  These cardinal virtues – wisdom, justice, courage and moderation originate in ancient philosophy.  The general explanation for virtues says that they are inner attitudes of doing good with joy. 

Virtues will remain just theory as long as we don’t integrate them into our lives and make them a habit.  In coming posts we’ll discuss the connection of esteem to each of these four cardinal virtues.

Virtues work like a mirror.  We see in each of these four mirrors our life and our attitudes.  Rather than discussing virtues theoretically and philosophically by creating the picture of a perfect life we’ll try to find practical ideas for realizing esteem through virtues in our daily life as life is imperfect and fragile.

Esteem is interweaving our whole life

In 1943 the psychologist Abraham Maslow wrote the article “A Theory of Human Motivation” where he described his pyramid of hierarchy of needs.

According to Maslow human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs and they have to satisfy lower needs before they can act unselfishly.

The lowest needs are the physiological – such as food and sleep.  Next are safety needs such as living in a safe area.  Then social needs such as friendships.  Lastly are esteem needs such as self-respect and attention.  After satisfying all these needs people can achieve self-actualization such as truth and wisdom.

According to Maslow enlightened persons living a very simple and unsafe life can’t achieve wisdom and truth.

We can have safety but without esteem the satisfying of this need remains empty.  A life struggling with basic needs but filled with esteem and self-esteem achieves easily wisdom and truth.

Esteem is interweaving our whole life.