A man must respect himself. He should not degrade his body or mind. He is what God has made him. Why should he he ashamed of himself? His duty is to make the most of the powers which he has. Even persons afflicted with any defect or deformity should not hate themselves. A man who despises himself will never rise, and will not command the respect of others. Respect yourself, if you wish to be respected by others.
Self-respect will keep a man away from evil, will not allow him to do anything mean or unworthy, ‘Self-respect,’ says Smiles, is the noblest garment with which a man may clothe himself.’ It is the most elevating feeling with which the mind can be inspired. A self-respecting man will not defile his body, nor corrupt his mind. He will neither cringe nor crawl before others, neither fawn nor flatter, but will treat his officers with due respect. He will be courteous and polite to all and sympathetic and kind to his juniors. He will not hully those under him.
To think meanly of one’s self is to sink is one’s own estimation, and if you think little of yourself, others will think less of you. You cannot rise, if you do not look up. Even the humblest man may be raised by this feeling. Poverty itself will he lightened and made bearable by it, and it is really a noble sight to see a poor man holding himself upright, refusing to demean himself by low actions. It is true that persons who think meanly of themselves cannot command the respect of others, but persons who pretend to be what they are not, who are arrogant and presumptuous, bring upon themselves ridicule and hatred.