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On Self Respect

            Self-respect, something not everyone possess but something everyone should. Self-respect is having respect for one self, having a regard for one’s character, and having a laudable self esteem. For many teenagers growing up, self-respect is often something they struggle with and find it hard to accept or find. When you are young, you try so hard to fit in that you’ll do anything at all to do so. And often, in times like these, you forget about the values that matter, and those values are what make up who you are. It is these values that your self-respect is based on and if you lose sense of those or never see the good in yourself in the first place, possessing self-respect can be difficult.
             Joan Didion opens her story with the following sentence: “Once, in a dry season, I wrote in large letters across two pages of a notebook that innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself.” (Didion 204) Immediately my attention was grabbed and I was left wondering how someone could make such a profound, depressing, pessimistic statement. Soon after that she says, “It was a matter of misplaced self-respect.” (Didion 204) It was then that I realized why she felt this way, and knew that if I read on, I would find a story of a girl, who like many, struggle with who they are, and how others view them. A girl who hasn’t yet learned about respecting herself fully.
             It is amazing how some events in our lives can shape the person we become. I can think of tiny events in my life, that may be insignificant to others, that have guided me in becoming the person I am today. Such events shape our character and after we have lived through them, leave us with a sense of who we are and what we possess. It is ultimately these factors that give us self-esteem, self-respect, and the confidence we need to conquer anything we face. But these events aren’t always beneficial.