Self respect: What it means? Should I sacrifice it to please others?
A Reader: Pls tell me what is self respect….. what is the importance of self respect in a devotee life…should i sacrifice our self-respect to please others….
Self respect means expecting or ensuring that our dignity, way of life and our individuality are respected by others.
It can also be considered as our identity of our dignity.
In other words, pride and confidence in oneself; a feeling that one is behaving with honour and dignity.
“Work hard to keep up your self-respect”
“Do not talk unnecessarily. You may lose your self respect”
Keeping up our Self respect is not possible in all cases since everyone has different preferences in his life and everyone has distinct nature.
It is overexpectation to expect that others with different priorities should understand our priorities and way of life.
Everyone should not stop just with expecting self respect. He should honour the self respect of others.
Abuses can be avoided when we deal with others. Abusing the priorities of others will definitely hurt them as he too has every right to follow his own way of living.
Our Self respect is usually affected when others comment about us.
There are ways to comment about others. Let us understand with some examples:
Say, a girl is wearing salwar dress. But, your priority is saree. You can not tell her “wearing salwar is not Indian way of life. Only saree is meant for women”.
No. You can not say. She is wearing another decent dress, ie, salwar that closes whole body. So, this hurts her dignity, ie, self respect.
Say, your neighbour is using a brand of car and you are using another brand. You can not tell him that only your brand alone is perfect. He has every right to use his own choice of car.
Even in a religion, you can not pressurize another person to come to your spiritual path. Everyone has right to speak of the merits of his religion or spiritual path.
He can not tell that the religion followed by others is inferior thereby accusing the religion followed by others. Here, we are commenting against his choice to make him accept your offer.
This will hurt his sentiments, dignity, self respect.
Therefore, we can understand, self respect is the right to follow our own way of life that does not violate the codes of society.
What if one’s priorities hurt the sentiments of the society?
For example, if a person is naked in public place, we can not remain inactive just because it is his right. Even here, we have no right to accuse him.
Then? We have right to inform the police and request them to remove that naked person from publice place.
Thus, there are ways to deal with any situation without hurting the individual liberty of others.
You have right to indicate in a decent manner. But, you have no right to pressurize anyone and accuse him.
Next, should you sacrifice your self respect to please others?
In case someone expects you to sacrifice your self respect or dignity to give a favour, you need not lose your self respect here. This is like selling your eyes to buy a picture.
Let us see another case. A company owner expects a girl aspirant for job to sexually cooperate with him to get that job, she has to leave that place because he challenges her dignity and self respect.
If she accepts his offer, she loses all respects in his sight. He will always be trying to make her obey his sexual needs.
In such situations that challenges our dignity, we should never compromize our self respect.
Same applies for bribing also. If an employee of a govt department demands bribe to perform his duty, we need not bribe him.
When we bribe him, we may finish that work soon. But, we are compromizing our right to get the services of the government paying just recommended charges.
Therefore, in material activities, we should not compromize our dignity and self respect.
However, when we approach God say, Krishna, in a worship or prayer, we should not even think of our self respect, because, we are very insignificant in front of God.
So, we should consider ourselves like a straw on the streets. We have no self respect in front of God. Everyone should have a servant like mindset in front of God.
The conclusion is that, we have no significance in front of God. But, we should not allow others to expect us to compromize our dignity to get an offer or services in our day to day material life.
Hope you are clear.
Also read another useful topic in this site: HOW TO AVOID ANGER, UPSET AND FRUSTRATION IN LIFE?