Do nothing to make you lose respect for yourself.

warrior 100

Do nothing to make you
lose respect for yourself.
Baltasar Gracian

The respect that you have for yourself can’t be taken away from you by anyone else. You are the only person who controls the level of respect that you do or don’t have for yourself. Other people can try to hurt you, embarrass you, humiliate you, etc., but they can’t control your own feelings toward yourself. You control your self-respect just as you determine your own honor.

So if others can do nothing to cause you to lose your self-respect, how do you lose respect for yourself? Obviously it can be lost or Gracian would not have admonished us to be careful about losing self-respect. The answer is that you lose self-respect when you lower your standards or do not live up to your own code of conduct that you have set for yourself. The warrior knows inside his spirit if he is living up to his code of honor or not. Only he can determine that.

When he knows inside that he is not living up to his own standards, he starts to lose a bit of his self-respect. If he refused to help someone because of fear, that action would eat away at him until he made it right. This is because of the strict standards which he sets for himself. He knows that he must do what is right in order to feel at peace with his own actions. Anything less and his conscience will not let him be at peace. Warriors esteem their honor too highly to allow themselves to lose self-respect because of weakness or laziness. When you live up to your code of honor you never lose self-respect.

Bohdi Sanders
from the book
WARRIOR: The Way of Warriorhood.

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