Saturday, March 20, 2010

Self-esteem vs. self-confidence

We raised our kids in a era of "self-esteem" being all important.  I'm so sorry to see children who have it.  They are crushed by anything smacking of criticism, therefore are brittle and non-resilient in facing life's challenges.  Their primary goal is self-affirmation, which is a low moral path indeed.  Kids who are raised in an environment which is concerned with their self-esteem frequently grow to be obnoxious in their sense of entitlement to be regarded favorably, lest their "self-esteem" birthright be diminished.

What was meant as a good thing for kids has deprived them of developing self-confidence.  Self-confidence is a strong ally in facing the turbulence of real, involved living.  It is built by overcoming obstacles, facing challenges and working tenaciously to perservere over time - to try again and be somewhat impervious to failure - treating it not as a diagnosis of self, but a lesson in what doesn't work.  Self-confidence is earned and developed - not given by others.

God spare us self-esteem - it's a cheap trick and a very damaging one.  Let's work toward self-respect, self-confidence and, hopefully, a self-directed moral existence.


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