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

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Thu Aug 16 13:41:13 EDT 2007

>> --- Melissa Proffitt (I think, though I am a bit muddled by all these 
arrows) 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.

Colin conceded:
>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

Esther wrote:
>> 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.  

Colin came back:

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


>> 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.

Whereas if we only ever set ourselves goals that don't take any effort, 
we are at risk of never getting anywhere much.  Rather like only ever 
playing lawn tennis against someone not-as-good: one stays 

One of the things badly wrong with almost everything at the moment is
that we are actively encouraged by everything from lousy grammar in
academic texts, through stereo knobs that fall off because they are made
of crap plastic that breaks, right round to trains that fall off the
lines because of shoddy maintenance, to settle for second-best,
slipshod, oh-it'll-do *everything*, and I actually feel quite strongly
that a man's reach should exceed his grasp.

(She said, nailing her colours to the mast a bit.)

Not to the extent of breaking down and leaping off cliffs if we don't
become Olympic paddleboarders or whatever, obviously, but can't we at
least *aspire* to be a better us rather than supinely settling for 
being a worse one?

Not blaming other people who also don't become Olympic paddleboarders, 
but keeping the possibility, the ideal, the shining goal of Olympic 
paddleboarding available for consideration, at least...

(What the blazes is a paddleboarder anyway?  It did a pounds shillings 
and ounces at me.)

(who was aspiring not to lose her temper with a Real Nuisance
over the weekend, and justabout succeeding by the skin of her 
teeth)(Farah is my witness to both parts of that statement: the 
nuisanceness and the success-ish)

More information about the Dwj mailing list