Thursday, April 23, 2020

"I'm not a huge fan of myself"

The title of this blog post comes from Garrison Keillor's column "How do you sleep at night? Here's how"

There are many books to help people get the right level of kindness and appreciation for themselves. We all know that we can think ourselves too wonderful for words.  There are calls, pressures, instructions for modesty.  If you haven't seen "Unorthodox" on Netflix, I highly recommend it.  The actress Shia Hass does a super job portraying a 19 year old deeply immersed in a culture that emphasizes modesty, circumspection, acceptance, most especially for women.  On the other hand, many people working with others and many people watching "Unorthodox" see the need for some people to become bigger fans, more ardent admirers of themselves.  

The well-known book "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell is one of many documents that explain the direction a young man is likely to take in his early years.  He will be on a quest, a mission involving travel and danger.  He will meet a dragon or a villain and rescue a (beautiful, comely) girl from those nasty clutches, they will fall in love, and go off together to live happily ever after.  Generally, a writer or a boxer or mailroom clerk or a reporter needs to have a fairly high level of self confidence to succeed on a quest.  So, too much modesty, deliberation, caution could be a serious obstacle toward success.

It looks like we want enough fuel in our confidence tank to get us to the goal but not an oversupply.  

In case you are interested in the worldwide revolution, the one of women rising - there are many different ones, changes and revolutions happening at once - I recommend "She" by the late psychologist Robert A. Johnson.

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