Too many young Americans possess a surplus of self-esteem, but, absent genuinely-meritorious accomplishments, too little self-respect.
“Self-esteem” in youngsters has become an insidious system of self-appreciation implanted by constant, effusive, unearned praise and cosseting from protective, overindulgent parents and other adults, plus widespread dumbed-down curricula, grade inflation and participation trophies for every child, regardless of performance.
Such praise and practices detach self-esteem from actual accomplishment, prevent realistic self-assessment, corrupt genuine self-respect and often create shallow, narcissistic social justice warriors (SJWs), permanent adolescents who don’t know what they don’t know or anything at which they’re actually good.
In their imaginations, self-satisfied SJWs’ are “heroes” speaking “truth to power,” resisting imaginary “fascists,” the “patriarchy” and are, against incredible odds, fighting for human rights and privileges they and everyone they know already possess. The melodrama that defines their lives is almost always self-created and/or self-inflicted.
SJWs’ deficit of actual accomplishment most likely induces them to seek relevancy – power, really – by attempting to impose their immature, uninformed world-view on others.
SJWs assume anything with which they disagree to be fundamentally “unjust” and, ipso facto, beyond dispute or compromise. Indignation and condemnation are self-justified by SJWs’ assumed moral vanity, a pretense which also conveniently sidesteps any requirement for rational discourse.
For example, SJWs have perverted America’s historical moral case for universal civil rights, already realized, into contradictory calls to segregate races and cultures and enforce their boundaries. Critical of “cultural appropriation,” SJWs nonsensically claim to approve of cultural engagement, but that, by not allowing their expression, adoption or interpretation by more “privileged” groups, they are “combatting racism” and protecting “marginalized” cultures.
“Appropriation” implies theft of tangible items. In the case of culture, though, common conveniences and practices – travel, media, the internet, intermarriage – exist to reach out to, experience, appreciate and enjoy other cultures. Appreciation isn’t theft; it’s merely interaction.
Ironically, SJWs cannot explain how strictly delineating cultures actually promotes social justice.
Cultural appropriation is but one example of how SJWs attempt to escape reality. But denying logic and rejecting conventional standards allows unaccomplished SJWs to become whatever they imagine. Reality becomes fantasy, and, when fantasy prevails, absurdities multiply: “Personal and group affirmation” “micro-aggressions,” “trigger warnings,” “safe spaces,” “gender-neutral pronouns,” “gender-fluidity,” “white privilege,” “cultural equivalency,” “anti-bias and sensitivity training” — the list seems endless.
By imposing cultural groupthink, SJWs attempt to make normal people fearful, hesitant to express “blasphemous” views in order to avoid unhinged accusations of thought-crime. Unaccomplished SJWs use verbal bullying to boost self-esteem, delegitimize opposition to their affectations of cultural hegemony and gain an illusion of power.
But, self-esteem is ephemeral, vulnerable to disappointments or blows to one’s self-image, especially those inflicted by inevitable encounters with the real world’s indifference to adolescent self-esteem.
Self-esteem and self-respect differ fundamentally. Self-respect is based upon a recognition of one’s own intrinsic and demonstrated value, skills, accomplishments and an understanding of one’s personal responsibilities and obligations to self, family and community.
Unlike self-esteem, self-respect helps people face and overcome real world challenges. Graduates, respect yourselves. Earn it.