by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar?
(source : Celebrating Silence)
"Thank those who do not respect you. They have given you freedom. When people respect you, they often take away your freedom. They expect you to smile at them, recognize them and behave in certain way with them. If they do not respect you, you are not obliged to answer their questions and you can drop all formalities. You will be naturally smiling or frowning. Either way you will be complete.
"When people love and respect you, you are obliged to return their courtesies because you do not want to hurt them. But when they do not respect or love you, they will not be hurt by your actions and words, so they set you free.
"When you gain respect, you often do it at the cost of your freedom. Wisdom is to put freedom first and not bother with respect.
"True freedom is not an "I don't care" attitude. It is lightness from within, a genuine smile and lack of stiffness. Such freedom will not bring arrogance. True love blossoms only in such freedom. And when there is genuine love, respect simply follows you."
European Ashram, Bad Antogast, Germany July 30, 1997
Ego and Respect at http://www.artofliving.de/Wissensblaetter/335-E.htm
There are two types of respect.
1. Respect that comes to you because of your position, fame or wealth. This type of respect is impermanent. It can be lost once you lose your wealth or status.
2. Respect that comes because of your virtues like honesty, kindness, commitment, patience and your smile. This respect no one can take away.
The less you are attached to your virtues, the more self-respect you have. If you get attached to your virtues, you look down upon everybody else and the virtues start diminishing. Non- attachment to virtues brings the highest self-respect.
Often one confuses ego with self-esteem. Ego needs the other for comparison, but self-esteem is just confidence in oneself. For example, a gentleman claims that he is thorough in mathematics or geography; this is self-esteem. But to say, "I know better than you," that is ego.
Ego simply means lack of respect for the Self.
Ego upsets you very often. Self-esteem is immune to getting upset by external factors. In self-respect everything is a game, winning or losing has no meaning, every step is joy, every move is celebration.
In Self-esteem you simply realize you have it.
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