Open minds and self respect

Here's a pattern that became evident to me amidst the drama of last week:

When our minds are closed, we're inclined to respect authority without question. We seek the approval of those whom we believe are superior to us in ability, power and experience. We sense that we cannot respect ourselves because we're lacking in those superior qualities. We remain needy, insecure and vulnerable to exploitation while our minds are closed.

Authority figures with equally closed minds help us to keep our minds from opening up. They reward us with extrinsic prizes that trash our intrinsic motivations. They dish out enough disrespect to keep us insecure and needy for their approval. They punish those with self respect for failing to respect the authority figure's superiority from their own place of inferiority. They have problems with those who's self respect guides them to do the right thing, rather than conform, comply and submit to power-hungry coercion.

When our minds are open, we're inclined to question authority. We seek answers and guidance within for wise outlooks, choices and priorities. We find a self within that is worthy of respect regardless of what others' opinions may insist upon. We're accepting of our self respect evoking disrespect from others. We can perceive those who dish out disrespect as lacking self respect or any sense to do the right thing. They cannot respect themselves because their minds are closed, they are addicted to extrinsic rewards and they have not found a self within to respect.

With our self respect, we naturally respect others with self respect. We don't need their respect, but it comes without trying. We fulfill the paradox of "those that get the most respect do not need it because they already have self respect". With that self respect comes the curiosity to explore where our intrinsic motivations lead us. We learn more informally and set up others to do the same.

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