Listen to episode 283 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Integrity & Self-Respect | Building Your Personal Brand. Edited and adapted from The Keys to Success by B.C. Forbes.
Motivational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you by the kind financial support of listeners like you. Learn how you can support our podcast for as little as a dollar a month by visiting LivingHour.org/patron. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Keys to Success by B.C. Forbes, published in 1918.
A person may lose their earthly all, yet if they retain their self-respect, they can still be rich in the things that count, the things that endure, the things worthwhile. The individual who loses their self-respect (though they may have millions) is poor indeed, a bankrupt, a failure.
Self-respect is one of the basic ingredients that go to make success. If we lose respect for ourselves, we will sooner or later lose the respect of others. Self-respect is not pride. It is not haughtiness. It is that hard-to-define "something" which prevents us from stooping to meanness, pettiness, harshness, bossiness; which resents every form of unfairness; which rebels against injustice; which compels us to have scrupulous regard for the rights and feelings of others.
The self-respecting person cannot flout the self-respect of others, cannot do unto others what they would resent having done to themselves — for they who wound the self-respect of another thereby mar and scar their own self-respect.
But self-respect is not a quality apart. It is not a flower that can be cultivated in a garden overgrown with weeds. It is a virtue that can flourish only in the company of other virtues. The person who cheats, the one whose business is not run honestly, the person whose daily object is to get the better of others, cannot retain the true brand of self-respect.
Such people may strive to convince others — they may even try to delude themselves — that they are entitled to self-respect, and they may, and probably will, demand that others, particularly their subordinates, show them scrupulous "respect" (for those who pose are the greatest sticklers for insisting upon being shown deference). But at heart they will know, or at least suspect, that they are bluffing, that their character does not ring true, that they are not worthy of being shown the respect which they demand of those they lead.