Proposed encouragement, yes! Indiscriminate discouragement,
by Bob Stealey
Today, yet another bee in my beanie, as this amateur
psychologist his only text is hopefully the unwritten book of common
sense once again slowly ascends his sporadic soapbox.
Self-esteem. What is it? The Tenth Edition of Merriam
Websters Collegiate Dictionary lists two definitions for it. I believe
that the first one is the right one, but the second one is the one that
tends to confuse so many people.
So here it is: 1. A confidence and satisfaction in onesself; self-respect.
2. Self-conceit. Therein lies the basis for this particular column. Self-conceit
is the extreme degree of my subject here.
To me, self-esteem is one of those concepts in life
that vary by degree. Depending upon the individual, too little self-esteem
can be every bit as dangerous as too much of it. In fact, in the case of
some individuals, a lack of it can be more dangerous.
When I say too much of it, Im referring to those
who are constantly traveling on an ego trip thats overbearing to others
but Im not referring to people who emit a refreshing awareness of their
abilities and skills. That doesnt make one a know-it-all, but instead
it commands a healthy respect from those with whom he or she communicates
with every day.
Conversely, too little of it can ultimately result
in tragic consequences too unthinkable to describe here. Whats important
to realize is that an individual is never born with a lack of self-esteem,
but may all too quickly learn all kinds of self-doubts. It isnt until
after a childs first couple years of life that others can tell whether
or not that child has been nurtured to go for the gusto or whether
the child is being held back by a parent or by someone else very influential
in his life, for whatever strange reason that might be.
Again, here I am, a layman, pontificating over something
he has never been taught in school or college. (Only what seems to make
sense to the unlearned mind.)
In short, self-esteem is a learned quality in a
person, not an innate one. I hope that in raising my own three sons a few
years ago that, for my own part, I never limited them in their dreams and
aspirations. I was never afraid that Id be creating a trio of egomaniacs
simply by refusing to confine their idealism.
There are probably some who would differ greatly
with me on this point, and thats fine. Yet, although I dont always practice
the following truism, I do somehow tend to believe its true: The greatest
limit a person has on himself is the belief that he must have limits.
The bottom line is that a limit-free philosophy
is like a freeway that seems to go on forever, but an ever-limiting set
of beliefs is nothing more than a cul de sac an abrupt dead-end.
Holding in the reins too tightly on a person in
his formative years can cause an ugly emotional scar one thats permanently
visible on the personality.
Made to perpetually hesitate in self-doubt keeps
a person from being assertive and confident in a constructive way. It can
easily lead that person to be constantly used and abused. Its the stuff
that victims are made of.
Sincere encouragement is the best medicine you can
give to someone. But the worst poison is to indiscriminately discourage
someone. Its a sign of fear and lack of faith in God and in the person
I believe that to Gaslight a person serves
On Friday, BobnAlong will feature something not nearly so heavy.
State has moved too slowly on Waldo safety issue
Were all for due process, but the fact that the
Waldo Complex remains open to renters despite having 30 fire code violations
is bordering on negligence on the part of the state.
State Fire Marshal Walter Smittle issued an order
in June of 1998 that the building must be either brought up to code or
Owners David and Suzanne Arnett originally appealed
the order but dropped the appeal in November. Still, the Waldo remains
open and has anywhere from five to 10 renters.
Thats because the state fire marshals office hasnt
filed the necessary petition with the Harrison County Circuit Court that
would force the Waldos owners to either repair the 30 violations or close
the building. Smittle says his offices attorney has been busy representing
other state agencies and has also been ill.
But, Smittle also says that whether the petition
has been filed or not, the building is unsafe for habitation. He says people
still living in the Waldo should find another place to live as soon as
possible. If it wasnt dangerous I wouldnt have issued the order, Smittle
If the Waldo is unsafe, then the owners must be
forced to either fix it or shut it down. And it shouldnt take nearly a
State and county officials need to act judiciously. But, when safety
is an issue, they need to act a little quicker.
Todays editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial
board, which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser,
James Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.
America: U.N. ruler or deadbeat to the world?
America owes $1.7 billion in unpaid dues to the United
Nations. Out of 185 U.N. member nations, 117 paid their dues on time last
Ironically, America as the worlds wealthiest nation
is also the largest deadbeat. Woodrow Wilson must be turning over in his
grave. It is a shameless act and our congressional leaders must allocate
the funds to fulfill our commitments to the U.N. without any strings attached.
It is not because America cannot pay its dues. Our
nation is in the midst of the largest economic expansion since World War
II, and for the first time in over 70 years we are experiencing budget
surpluses. We are not paying our dues because we do not want to. We cannot
get our way on some U.N. policies, so we withhold funding. It is all about
It is a shameless attempt to hold the United Nations
hostage. America wants to live by the Golden Rule: The one with the gold
makes the rules. It is a policy that will no doubt come back to slap us
in the face.
This month, seven former secretaries of state from
the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations sent
a letter to Congress saying that America is squandering its moral authority
by failing to pay its U.N. delinquency.
It is simply unacceptable that the richest nation on earth is also
the biggest debtor to the United Nations, said the letter, which was published
as an ad in several U.S. newspapers.
The U.N. administrator says America must pay at
least $250 million of its delinquency in 1999 or lose its vote in the General
Imagine the irony of a U.N. General Assembly motion
to lift the trade embargo on Iraq, taking place at the U.N. headquarters
in New York City, and the United States not even being allowed to vote.
Or a U.N. Security Council motion that impacts the role of peacekeeping
forces in Bosnia that impacts the outcome of the crisis in Kosovo, and
our military leaders have no input.
It is outrageous that America is the top deadbeat
in the community of nations. It is ironic we are so quick to fill the role
of police force to the world, but we fail to pay our own dues. It is simply
un-American. It is time to pay up and act like a world leader again.
Telegram Editorial Board member