To the Editor:
In my time at OCCC, I have learned some fairly huge life lessons — things outside of the textbook but equally important to success.
One of those is how to treat myself, i.e. how to respect myself — my thoughts, feelings and goals — and as a result, be respected.
I’m referring to self-respect — that thing that makes you work hard even if no one else is; the thing that helps you understand that your character will grow by leaps and bounds when you turn your back on others’ bad behavior, even when that behavior is directed toward you. It’s the thing deep inside of you that no one but you can touch unless you allow it.
Self respect makes you want to do the right thing even when no one else is. It makes you want to be nice to everyone because you realize, in the end, only you are responsible for your behaviors — both good and bad.
Having self respect helps you succeed in all areas of life — home, work, friends, academics.
While you may not be the best at something, self-respect makes you try your best and in the end, that is something to be proud of.
Self respect can’t be taken away. You own it. You alone control it. It sets you apart from everyone else.
Self-respect is about self-worth. It’s about how much you value yourself. In turn, that has a direct bearing on how much others value you.
It’s never too late to discover that part of yourself.
It may be buried deep inside. It may have been locked away because of a bad event or several failures. However, it’s still there, just waiting to be revived.
Strive every day to challenge yourself, to live up to your expectations but to still be proud of yourself if you fall short. Find your self respect.
Once you do, it’s very freeing.
No one can bring you down if you respect yourself. No one can abuse you, make you believe badly of yourself or ever make you feel like a failure if you have self respect.
And when you locate and start making good use of your self-respect capabilities, share the joy.
Take some time to help another person find that he or she also can stand tall and successfully face many adversities head on just by believing in and having self respect.
—Name withheld by request