[DWJ] Twilight and New Moon (Was: Discussing now: What?)

colin at kindness.demon.co.uk colin at kindness.demon.co.uk
Thu Aug 16 13:04:46 EDT 2007

estairm at yahoo.com wrote:
> --- Melissa Proffitt <Melissa at Proffitt.com> wrote:
> > On Thu,  9 Aug 2007 11:56:30 +0200 (CEST), Rachel
> > Ganz wrote:
> > 
> > >>It's interesting to read your take on this.  All
> > my life I interpreted it
> > >> the opposite--that I should not make demands on
> > others I wasn't willing to
> > >> expect of myself.  That it wasn't fair to require
> > someone else to live up to
> > >> standards I couldn't keep myself.  I suppose
> > that's why it's such a
> > >> double-edged statement; how you look at it can
> > make a huge difference in how
> > >> you live.
> > > 
I understood that to be the intent of the adage. I was cautioning about a (self-)destructive way in which it is easy to misunderstand it - see below. 

> Melissa, what you wrote seems right to me.  (Of
> course.)
> When I think of demanding more of oneself than of
> others, I think of something like always treating
> other people with respect, but not getting bent out of
> shape if other people are overly familiar, or cheeky.
> Or trying to act in a way that self-respect demands,
> but being laid back if someone else fails.  

I agree with that, but it's not what I meant either. 

> Esther
> I don't think it means being unreasonably hard on
> one's own self.  Nor giving habitual advantage-takers
> a free ride.
No, it doesn't *mean* it. But my experience with teaching and assisting with many courses in Self Esteem Enhancement, and related workshops, persuades me that many of us judge ourselves much more harshly than we judge anybody else (as Juliette said) - and we spend much of our lives trying to live up to our inner demands, and berating ourselves for not doing so. 
If we don't know this, or forget it, it is easy for us to take noble exhortations like the one we are discussing as yet another rod to beat ourselves with.


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