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Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #19 --- Self-Respect

Updated on November 28, 2015

Quotations on Self-Respect

No man is a failure until he has lost his grip and his self-respect. When he loses these he is practically dead.

---Orison Swett Marden, Success Magazine, New York, N.Y., August 1906.

Self-respect is the keystone to all character. Character gives substance to our thoughts and continually enlarges our will to do and to be.

---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., May 18, 1936.

Self-respect is the great balance wheel to a strong character.

---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Oct. 14, 1936.

If you want to know what it is to be wretched, lose your self-respect.

---Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 24, 1922.

Self-respect is at the root of all purposefulness.

---Arnold Bennett, Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Wis., Jan. 17, 1929.

Self‑respect is the best form of being "stuck" on oneself.

-‑‑Emmet Rodwell Calhoun, Louisville Times, Louisville, Ky., Jan. 21, 1905.

Self-respect is a Geiger counter wherewith one detects the good in others.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., March 27, 1955.

Honesty always generously pays the cost of keeping one’s self-respect.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., June 12, 1955.

The cultivation of a good opinion of others is the foundation of self-respect.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Dec. 15, 1957.

To cheat or defraud others is to rob oneself of self-respect.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Jan. 11, 1961.

As estimate of one’s personal worth—to be accurate—should include one’s worth to others.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., May 23, 1962.

What is gained by cheating others is more than offset by a loss of self-respect.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., July 20, 1962.

To speak well of others speaks well for self-respect.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 30, 1964.

Self-respect is more important to preserve than others’ approval.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 8, 1965.

When self-respect flees, it’s difficult to overtake it.

---John F. Easley, Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, Okla., March 22, 1915.

Would I hire myself to do for another that which he is ashamed to do for himself? No sir. Where would be my self-respect?

---Daniel H. Tuttle, The Progressive Farmer, Winston, N.C., May 12, 1896.

Without self-respect we are worth nothing at all. If we have not learned to respect ourselves, how can we expect others to respect us? Thus self-respect becomes another word for conscience.

---George Thomas Dowling, Los Angeles Herald, Los Angeles, Calif., March 30, 1903.

Self-respect is the first requisite of peace.

---Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Dec. 2, 1937.

Nothing in this world can atone for one's loss of self-respect.

---Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Nov. 21, 1939.

It is almost impossible to engage in what one knows to be wrong without a loss of self‑respect‑‑and one must live with himself. With the loss of self‑respect goes the loss of confidence in one's capacity to achieve. It is just not good for a fellow to think that he is going contrary to the wishes of all who love him and in direct opposition to his own ideals.

‑‑‑John L. Hill, The Baptist Training Union Magazine, Nashville, Tenn., August 1943.

The literal meaning of the word respect, in its derivation was, to look back, or look again, and it once meant that second look given in passing to one of note or striking appearance. Gradually it came to mean the attitude of regard or esteem. Self‑respect means to feel worthy of a second look at oneself or the attitude of esteem toward oneself. Unless there is that in the character of [a man] that will bear his own close scrutiny, and merit the approval of his own honest judgment, or win his self‑respect, he will not attract a second look‑‑or command respect‑‑from others. There is a wide distinction between self‑respect and egotism. The latter is as despicable as the former is admirable.

‑‑‑Adiel Jarrett Moncrief, Jr., Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 10, 1936.

There are few persons who are not sensitive to the opinions of others concerning themselves. One may affect unconcern about what others think of him, but he knows, if he is honest about it, that he is all the time striving to earn the good will of his fellows. His own self-respect in due course will command the respect of his acquaintances. Pretensions do not impress the generality of people and they are despicable where there is no basis for them. The intellectual pose, the artistic pose, the philanthropic pose and the smart business man pose may fool some people for a while, but sooner or later the disguises fall away and the man is revealed for what he is. Real quality is not always discernible on the surface, but as time goes on will win appreciation from those whose opinion is worthwhile. The approval of everybody is seldom possible. A man cannot steer a straight course and please everyone. All things considered, he had best steer straight. The first essential of self-respect and the respect of others is ideals, honestly chosen and closely followed. If a man can show that he has some guiding principles which he is intent upon pursuing to the end, he compels admiration whether people agree with him or not. They say he is honest, he is purposeful, and he is going to get somewhere.

---Lucius W. Nieman, Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Wis., Jan. 8, 1919.

Lincoln said: "I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every friend on earth, I shall have at least one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me."

What others think of you is not as important as what you think of yourself, for others might be deceived by appearances or by cunning, deceitful language, but your real estimate of yourself is a pretty accurate one. The great human plan is built upon truth lines, honesty lines, and you cannot think well of yourself if you are not a good man; if you are not square, clean and true.

There is no man so lonely in this world as the one who has lost his self‑respect, even though he has the applause of the world. He knows he is playing false, that he is wearing a mask, and that while he may deceive everybody else he can never deceive himself into thinking that he is a good man when he is not.

The great object of a watch is perfect time. The real meaning of a human being is manhood. What you do in this world should mean something infinitely larger and grander than mere living, or what is represented by your bank account. These are mere incidentals to the larger meaning of life. Your life work is the exhibition you make before the world. The world does not care so much what particular line of endeavor you follow as that you be a man.

Every mean, contemptible, dishonest act takes away confidence in yourself, because you condemn yourself for it; and, in order to do the best thing possible to you, you must have your own unqualified approval.

Do you stand for integrity? Have you been square in your dealings with others, generous in your treatment of them? If you have been small, mean, uncharitable and contemptible in your life, you will get neither the world's monument nor anybody's gratitude. The world builds no monuments to selfishness, erects no tablets to greed.

‑‑‑Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., Jan. 31, 1919.

No man is truly great if he is unable to retain his self‑respect.

‑‑‑The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., March 21, 1916.

As a general thing, when a man loses his self‑respect nobody picks it up.

‑‑‑Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, March 30, 1935.

The difference between self‑respect and self‑conceit is a difference of capacity.

‑‑‑Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Dec. 16, 1911.

The best prop in the world for character to twine itself about is one's own self‑respect.

-‑‑Louisville Herald, Louisville, Ky., Jan. 16, 1907.

The supreme success of life consists in possessing a character which will enable you to find joy and self-respect in the daily living with your own self. We are ever our own closest companion and therefore must find our true joy in our own thoughts and ideas. Not even death can rid me of myself. I may deceive others as to my motives and work but I cannot deceive myself and with myself I must grow old and die, yet with myself I must live on through the eternities. Therefore the supreme test of whatever I think and do is just this estimate my inner self places upon my life. We make our own hell and we build our own heaven in these earthly commencements of here and now. Be true therefore to yourself.

—John Edward Carver, Ogden Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah, June 23, 1930.

When you lose respect of yourself, you are lost.

—Phil Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Oct. 12, 1947.

No one can trade his self-respect for anything without getting cheated.

—Phil Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., March 17, 1950.

Self-respect and self-appreciation are closely allied.

—Alva Adams , quoted in Improvement Era, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 1910.

Self-respect is social self-preservation.

—Arthur Growden, The Commercial Dispatch, Columbus, Miss., Nov. 2, 1927.

Self-respect is moral self-valuation.

—Arthur Growden, The Commercial Dispatch, Columbus, Miss., Nov. 2, 1927.

Self-respect belongs to the highest powers and purposes of life. Between that and the hateful thing we know as selfishness or conceit there is the distance of a universe.

—Frederick A. Hatch, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 14, 1898.

A man is as tall as his own self-respect will permit him to hold his head.

—J. Benjamin Lawrence, Baptist Record, Jackson, Miss., June 24, 1915.

Self-respect. What is it? How is it maintained? Self-respect is the very cement of character, an indispensable virtue. To lose it is to break down the foundations upon which every worthy life is built. It is neither conceit nor vanity. Arrogance and haughtiness form no part of it. It expresses itself in the pride that lifts one above thinking or doing unbecoming things. It keeps him from degrading influences, from the corroding effects of sin. That man is safe from doing wrong who is ashamed to do wrong. If we are not worthy of our own respect, how can we claim the respect of others? It is built upon a personal ideal and it is maintained by a constant effort to attain this ideal. No man can maintain his self-respect and violate his conscience. Guard it with care. Cultivate it. If you lose yourself-respect you sustain an irreparable loss.

—Bryant S. Hinckley, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 6, 1942.

Self-respect is proper and admirable, if merited. Self-conceit is detestable and insufferable, even if deserved. Before persuading yourself that you are not conceited, indulge in self-analysis. Do you think you are superior to your fellows? Do you fail to make friends, or, making them, fail to hold them? Do you give the fellow working with you full credit or do you try to take it all for yourself? Can you see the other fellow's viewpoint or are you always right?

—Harry C. Withers, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, April 28, 1939.

It is impossible for a person who is dishonest to be happy, because self-respect is the very basis of happiness, and no one can respect himself who is not honesty, who does not try to be right, straight, clean and square in every act of his life.

—Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., April 14, 1916.

Self-respect, a good opinion of your own personality, is the best insurance not only against vicious tendencies but also against making a wrong choice and against final failure. A man who thinks highly of himself will not stoop to underhanded methods, to vile scheming.

—Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., April 20, 1918.

Dignified self-respect [is] looking upon life as having a deeply serious side to it, guiding us into seemly conduct, approved by good common sense.

—Francis A. Horton, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pa., July 8, 1901.

Useful work imprints its dignity on those blessed with their share of it. Half the world’s trouble comes from just plain laziness. By diligent effort of mind and body, [people] come to know values. The result is that they build upon themselves a self-respect which not only makes them fit and clean citizens, but also eliminates from their thinking those potentialities for meanness which often destroys individuals.

—Elmer G. Peterson, Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 3, 1932.

The human being most to be pitied is the man who has lost his standards, his self-respect, his ability to discriminate between what he really ought to do and what he ought not to do. So long as you have the courage, the persistence, and the determination to come as near as possible to satisfying that self-respect and those standards you are going forward. You are being somebody worthwhile. But when you have slipped to the extent that you are not sure what is to be done and what is not to be done, you are in a bad way.

—Grove H. Patterson, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Feb. 6, 1930.

True success is the maintenance of our own self-respect–provided our judgment is such that self-respect really means something. For a man to satisfy himself, at his best, is to behave properly. If we lose our self-respect, we have lost everything. If we maintain it, we have maintained everything. One reason why we should read biography is to learn just what kind of behavior provided the self-respect and consequently the success of other men. The biography of able and successful men and women is the surest guide to a thoughtful life. If we find we have lost the ability to be shocked and that there is no limit to what we are willing to do so long as we can keep from being caught, we have lost self-respect. We have lost the possibility of success. We have lost everything.

—Grove H. Patterson, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., March 29, 1930.

Let's remember that self-respect is far more desirable than riches, even great riches. If you are afraid of another person you are miserable and deserve to be miserable. To be afraid to advance your opinion, to say what is in your mind, to be your own master, is to be without self-respect. You can lose almost everything you possess and still be a man–but not your self-respect.

—Grove H. Patterson, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Sept. 13, 1930.

We all know people whom we deeply respect. Why do we respect them? It is because we see something in them that we esteem or admire, qualities we would like to emulate. They may have one or all of the following qualities: sincerity, ability, honesty, self-confidence and self-control. They have worked and achieved There may be other noteworthy qualities not listed. The best way for us to have others respect us is to have self-respect. What must we do to have self-respect? 1. We must be sincere. 2. We must use our talents. This way we show our ability. 3. We must be honest with all and especially ourselves because we can't fool ourselves. 4. We must exercise self-control and self-mastery. How can we ever hope to control or influence or help others unless we can do this for ourselves first? 5. We must work and not waste time. This is the only way we can achieve. Self-respect does not mean smugness or self-satisfaction nor does it mean that we feel we have "arrived." We will have self-respect when we try to make a part of us those qualities that we respect in others.

—Morgan S. Coombs, Accelerator, Sydney, Australia, August 1964.

Honor is the fatherland of character. The route of honor is recognition of our relationship to the infinite. Self-respect and conceit are as far apart as the poles. When a man's self-respect comes into eclipse all the world is dark. Honor is a vital seed in the core of our civilization. With honor's help we "climb the crumbling stair of circumstance," and rightly claim the prize of character.

—Moore Sanborn, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 25, 1905.

Toward yourself you must have respect. There is nothing inconsistent between deep humility and high self-respect. Indeed, the two are complimentary. Let me warn you against anything that will lower your self-respect. Guard yourselves particularly against that which will breed in you a cynical, contemptuous view of human nature and respect yourself. Guard yourself against debasing associations. Never surrender a moral standard under the guise of being broad and tolerant. Make sure that no moral standard is surrendered save that a higher one may take its place.

—A. Frank Smith, Houston Post-Dispatch, Houston, Texas, June 7, 1926.

Be your own best friend. Cultivate an intimate acquaintance with your own powers, wants and desires; prune out the weeds and mend the errors, till self is worthy of love and respect. His lot is indeed deplorable who is an unwelcome visitor to himself. Yet we are social creatures and need company. Cultivate a frank and manly dependence and also a manly independence. ... Happy is the man who has learned to devote his spare time to self-improvement, for his feet are placed in pleasant paths.

—James E. Talmage, Salt Lake Herald, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 27, 1894.

Self-respect and a swelled head are not closely enough related to wear the same hat.

—Jack Warwick, Toledo Blade, Toledo, Ohio, March 29, 1941.

The surest way to win the approval of good people is to maintain a certain self-respect.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 16, 1940.

If you cultivate a sense of self-respect you will achieve independence.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 9, 1941.


Submit a Comment

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 

    7 years ago from Minnesota

    Very inspirational and so very true. If we don't respect ourselves, life will be tough.


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