I was thinking yesterday about self-respect. How some people seemed to have more and some people seemed to have less.
And I looked across the street at an abandoned building and saw that it had a very narrow door, that looked shorter than an average doorway.
And I've seen double doors, that were five times the size in comparison -- or simple wood doors that were regular-sized -- and regular sized doors that had stained glass windows or diamond panes of clear glass with lace -- or even perhaps to compensate for a more "normal" size and a sense of inadequacy, doors that have glass windows extending their size on one or both sides. I've even seen a door that was pudgy, arched at the top and seemed to be something behind which a troll would live.
And I started thinking that maybe each of us could be compared to a door in that way. The Egyptians had the concept of "Ka", a dead soul, that was weighed and put into a statue.
What kind of door would your soul need to pass through to match its size and consistency? Big, fat, skinny, short -- and I would argue this would indicate a lot about what your self-respect size is, or how much self-respect you have. If you see yourself passing through a tiny mousehole, you may have very little self-respect. If you see yourself coming in through the door of an airplane hangar, well your sense of self-esteem would be noteworthy indeed!
I think most of us are somewhere in the middle. Somedays we are more self-conscious, more apt to give-in, go with the group, ape our betters -- or those we'd die to have accept us, to finally "belong". (Sometimes, at the cost of self-respect, when our "doorway" would be smaller and smaller if we sacrificed who we were to fit in). And other days, we are somehow more self-aware, stand taller, are stout about the price to our soul of doing certain things to fit in would actually cost us a good deal of self-respect.
Sadly, wisdom is won, not gained. Meaning, usually you need to touch the hot burner on the stove, put the coin in the electrical socket, or lick the battery end to believe that you "should not do that". No one can impart wisdom -- or I think maybe mankind would be leaps and bounds ahead. But perhaps not. Perhaps it is the patterns of humanity that elevate us -- we have a common germ, a common learning ground that unites us all.
What this means though, is that within each of us, although we all end up making the same mistakes as the rest of humankind -- there is an individual in each of us who learns -- often all too painfully -- what not to do, the hard way -- and learns to solve problems their own way.
This is then when we start determining what size of door we want for our soul -- we don't wait to die and be measured, we start taking steps to create the openings we need. And maybe, like croquet, we have a lot of doors, for different stages of our lives. Or just one or two.
This is then I think all that can be said about self-respect. It can masquerade as ego. It can be a whisper and not a shout, in the absence of ego. But at the center of it all, is the core of your being. And you need to treat that right. At least as good as you would your car, motorbike or PC avatar! :) And hopefully more.
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