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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Of Pride and Prejudice

Updated on July 21, 2015

Of what good is confidence if not used?

Really not a hard maneuver, except in the eyes of a man with prejudice against heights.
Really not a hard maneuver, except in the eyes of a man with prejudice against heights. | Source

Get rid of your prejudice about pride and prejudice

Exactly what goes into the self is a mystery. You need both pride and prejudice. If you quote a Bible verse saying that pride or prejudice are sins you are reading and quoting it wrong. Pride is simply not a sin. Prejudice is essential to normal function. A glass of wine sitting on a table is not intrinsically bad. Tobacco growing in a field is not evil. There is no shame in being of the elite it is a responsibility not a badge.

Let us first establish a “we” or “us” as times are changing. If you are reading this you are part of the intellectual elite. Welcome. This is not snobbery or self-elevation of one’s readers it is simply fact. We do not “network” here. There is no attempt to reach the masses in this or any other sermon in this series. We do not promote here we only attract and at that very little. People do not read this because it went viral. People read this because they somehow want to broaden their horizons in thought and spirit. Well it may be news to you but that puts us in the intellectual elite. Oh for sure there may be millions of us, but there are billions on the planet. (about 7 billion) And each one is a complete individual. So there is a mystery of self.

All I have to offer you is me. What a great name this fellow has.

Someone has to wear the black hat!

Some folks are just plain prejudice against country folk.
Some folks are just plain prejudice against country folk. | Source

Pride can build hospitals

Ah hah! You were beginning to feel uneasy about being called an intellectual elite. You were thinking about denying it while reading it. Admit it. It is uncomfortable to elevate yourself to a spot a bit higher than the average Joe. There is that humble pie in all of us that is bashful about being put into a class above. And to boldly say it about ourselves is down right – what? Prideful? Oh, to think of yourself as an elite is just so sinful. Think of the guilt that some are experiencing right now. So perhaps it is just better to deny your elite status. Sure just deny the gift that God has given you. That is better than being prideful. Well friends that is just plain sad. So there is that mystery of self.

After years of being active in a congregation I was gradually asked to become and do things that were increasingly of more responsibility. Dare I say it? The roles became more and more like leadership and a step by step elevation in position. Each step of the way I initially refused the “promotion”. Somehow being asked to serve in a more impactful manner just made me feel like I was in no way worthy of such. And yet in each phase I spent time in meditation, prayer and consultation with others and came to accept the new position. When I was ultimately asked to serve in reading the Gospel, preaching and serving communion I was just not ready, I could not do it, but God could and would do it through me. So there is that mystery of self.

Our world requires us to act in it. It is often of no importance how we come to the conclusion that we must act. At some point we must act not just think and feel. It sometimes matters little what motivates us, if we ask the hungry child that we just fed. There was a man who coordinated, organized and supervised and labored to build three housing structures for an orphanage just south of Tijuana Mexico. When in admiration he was asked just how he did it, he responded; “I am just that kind of guy”. In fact he was a conceited, egotistical narcissist, who was self-absorbed and self-worshipping. The closest I would get to associating with him would be like studying a specimen in an enclosed Petri dish. But what the heck, he built the three structures, good for him and the children. So there is that mystery of self.

Here is an interesting concept: Lions live in a societal fashion among others -- a group is called a pride. Tigers are solitary with no pride.

I am such a bad guy, I take real pride in my roses!

Have you ever heard; Look at that humble father? For some reason the term is to look at that proud father.
Have you ever heard; Look at that humble father? For some reason the term is to look at that proud father. | Source

How about you?

Are you proud of yourself?

See results

Prejudicial reality

Today I will attend a church service. Meet and give hugs to like faith friends. We will sing and give praise and we will hear and study some scripture together. Our preacher man will give us some awesome food for spiritual and intellectual thought. But before I go, I will take a full shower, shave and iron some nice clothes to wear so that I look all nice and presentable. I will tell myself that it is in honor of God and respect for friends that I get all gussied up. Excuse me but that is bull. Me, myself and I want to look good and have some pride in our self. Is that so wrong? Why can’t I just accept that that is why I do it. I want someone to say that I look good today. Not that God looks good in me, but that I look good. Having admitted that to myself and to others should I go and flog myself and do penance for two weeks? I think not. So there is the mystery of self.

It would seem that we forgot all about prejudice. Prejudice simply means to prejudge. Only fools do not prejudge. I judge the height of the stair before (pre) stepping up to it. Back when I drank a bit more than was healthy, I would fail to prejudge or prejudge incorrectly. Need I tell you that I fell down more than was necessary? I see a man beating a child, I judge that man before I get to know him. Oh and I judge parents before I get to know them if I see a dirty, unkempt, sickly and hungry child who is weeping. Of course I may change my view in full judgment which comes after prejudgment or prejudice. I will remain open but I do not walk around failing to make judgment calls as situations arise.

Prejudice is not a nasty ugly word. We have come to think of it as such. We think of it as such because so many people only prejudge. People for whatever reason, fail to do more than prejudge. They actually start and stop with prejudice. We will not say they are stupid, but they are at least ignorant. We have a blast around here with a 5 year old. The questions are endless. So instead of just answering them all we are developing the habit of thought. Observe, Investigate, Evaluate, Analyze then Conclude and remain open to new information. Interestingly enough fire was easy. Touch it and it burns you. Be prejudice against fire but remain open to using it to cook. Also around here we live in a Vietnamese/American household so be prejudice about someone who looks Vietnamese and prejudge whether to speak Vietnamese or English or whether to serve hot coffee or cold. A wrong prejudice may make them feel less welcome in our home. But this requires a constant teaching of ourselves. It takes effort to stay on top of our prejudices that are ours alone based on our experience. We have to keep learning so as to make ourselves better. By denying our prejudices we cannot refine them. So there is the mystery of self.

My son was just passing out “I love you’s” to his mother and I and it was time to have the talk about the essential love. So we went through all the people to love including of course Jesus and then he ran out. He had forgotten or did not know the essential love of self. “Son you have got to love yourself, maybe not first or foremost and not more than God, but you have to have a good healthy love of yourself.” While dysfunctional love of self can be a horrible vice, healthy love of oneself is critical to health. So there is that mystery of self.

I am very proud to have been raised in this country.

Somehow I got over my prejudice against cities.
Somehow I got over my prejudice against cities. | Source

Certainly not a conclusion, but some parting words

Food is often best with salt. Too much salt tastes bad and too much in a diet is bad for you. Total absence of salt is bland and not healthy for most. So we use care and use just the right amount of salt. It would seem that we have certain folks that need complete abstinence from certain things to function well. A monk would be celibate and an alcoholic would be completely alcohol free. Perhaps there are those who need to live completely without pride or prejudice. They simply cannot take them in moderation. But for most of us we need a healthy dose of pride and prejudgment.

I have used “mystery of self” here repeatedly. There is method to that madness. There is no formula or equation to get the proper amount of self which includes pride and prejudice. We can dwell in a land of debating ego and id or we can just accept that how much pride and prejudice we need is a mystery. A balancing act. Each step forward on the tight rope of life requires concentration, contemplation and adjustment. Today we do not know how much we will need to adjust tomorrow so we must be present in the now to gauge how much or how little we need to have right now.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Lawrence that really helps in us understanding what we are dealing with here. Balancing those scales is a life long pursuit. I think there is that spot where we let our fear of pride force us into a zone of lack of confidence. Clay feet result. We must not ever tier of trying to get it just right. Thank you for reminding me to pay attention.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      I think I need to apologize a bit for the "Christians trying to knock the pride out" comment as it was a bit on the harsh side.

      When I first got serious about my faith I was in the Army and not too long afterwards God showed me he wanted me to go on the Mission field, soldiers obey and thats what I did.

      When other christians found out tge pedestals came out and I was on them!

      I kwpt trying to get off but eventually a missionary friend and mentor told me "Lawrence, every time we try to get off those pedestals they get higher! Stop trying to get off and just get on with being whom God wants you to be"

      I've even struggled a little with the hub writing as I know the gifts God has given and want to use them but am conscious of the dangers!

      I love to do a good job and feel good about doing it but I still try to follow that advice!

      Hope that explains it a little better

      Maybe thats why this hub resonated so much.

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wow Lawrence that really says a great deal. Thanks for adding your thoughts to this hub, and for your support.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      The Army taught me the value of some pride in both myself and what I do. Christians tried to knock it out but doing a good job and making sure you're in a condition to do the job are important to me.

      Excellent hub.

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great to hear from you Devika. Thank you for coming by and leaving a note.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting and unique!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Frank. You give me wind beneath my wings and I appreciate it.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Eric I enjoy the messages you convey in your sermons.. it gives us or at least it gives me a different perspective, outlook.. they are useful and I feel the caring in your words.. bless you my friend

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks for the visit from beautiful Malaysia Peachy. Perhaps church is to help us focus and my sermons are to help us expand. Wonders abound and we hope to let our thoughts follow course.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Something different from what I heard at the church.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Ann,

      If we ever hope to have a modicum of wisdom it is a never ending journey to educate ourselves and guard against starting and stopping with our prejudices and pride. Certainly Jane Austen's book has had an impact on my view of such matters. I suppose that is a measure of humility that we allow others to influence us. Thank you for the reminder, I don't think I told my children how proud I am of them this week.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      You have such a way with words, Eric. Pride in oneself is good; we achieve things for which we should be duly proud. I am proud of my children because they are good people. Prejudice can be a bad thing, the general acceptance of the word as being wrongly contrary to something. I can't help but recall the novel 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen (my favourite story), which I'm sure you had in mind. Neither character (Darcy nor Elizabeth) are bad people; they just need to realise that pride can be distorted and prejudice needs to be educated.

      Great hub, well presented as always.

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Marlene, thank you for dropping in and leaving a note. And thank you for your kind words of support.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      It truly is a balancing act and I really like your reference to salt. Your sermons are so enlightening. You bring valuable lessons to life.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 2 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Thanks Eric and to your son! I will be visiting your hubpages more often for pearls of wisdom.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Johan, it is great to have you come by and visit. I am sorry I did not invite you over sooner. I will have to ask my young son about permission as most the insights come from him ;-) We would be blessed to have you adjust and share any notions that you find worthy, thank you.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 2 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Wow! I have been enjoying your comments for the last few years and have not read your posts. Great Sermon and insight - I will be using some of your thoughts and ideas in my sermons and radio program with your permission.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much Venkatachari M for your most welcome input. One of my favorite prides besides family is my friends. When I see a buddy do real well at something I get all fuzzy wuzzy proud to call him friend.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Wonderful thoughts with logical discussion on the need and importance of Pride and Prejudice in our life.

      I feel pride in my being a human being and a part of this wonderful world. I feel pride in being a member of this HubPages community. And I feel proud to have chosen to become a writer and being able to make friendships with all you nice people.

      I love to be prejudice also about everything around me and be mindful of all actions, events and results thereby learning many new things and secrets of life.

      Thanks for posting this wonderful Sunday Sermon.

      Voted up and awesome.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise, how wonderful and fun your performance will be. It seems to me that if we do not go through the gitters and questioning of our talents we are missing half the fun -- which is getting over them. It just does not fit with me that pride over accomplishing something with hard work, patience, long suffering, devotion and a splash of God given talent could possibly be a bad thing. I look forward to hearing how your performance went.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      What a timely lesson! I am preparing for a vocal performance at the church this coming Sunday. My "pride" is undermining me big time. I am pleased that I have been chosen to perform (I chose myself - I am responsible for the music). I have the talent and ability (at least, in my prejudgment, I found myself able and willing). I have someone who will accompany me and we have practiced together. I received positive feedback from others that I am ready for the performance. The Lord has provided me with this opportunity to serve him by sharing my talents. And yet in my thoughts, I am telling myself how unworthy I am to provide this valuable service, that surely someone else could do better, and that God will strike me if I think that I am good enough to do this! I am berating myself to the point that my throat and head hurt. What is that all about! Surely, the adversary must be laughing in my face as I tear myself to pieces! Thanks for telling me that this is not necessary, that it is okay to love myself and serve God with the talents I have been given, that this type of healthy pride is okay. I am a humble servant of God, and he can work through me to bless the lives of others!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bronwen thank you for contributing such a true comment. After a rough day yesterday that ended quite well, I paused to reflect that there are indeed defects in my character that clearly God has made possible. Challenges of my self or flesh that I must overcome. Now just perhaps they were put there to regulate my pride. I love how Paul talks about the thorn and that it is left there by design. Thanks again.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana it is great to read of someone so comfortable in their own skin. It certainly seems as though you have found a happy balance in life. I am afraid mine is a bit more of a teeter totter, tethered but far from stable.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So nice to hear from you Michael. We are plugging away here and loving life. Thank you for your kind words and I hope to see more of you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hello Dora, Thank you for coming by. I am convinced that when we stop and consider such matters then most of the time we do just fine. If it is our contemplative mind that is making the decisions rather than impulse and immediate reaction we will have the right balance.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Yes! God made us and we are children of the King of Heaven and Earth - if He values us, we should respect ourselves too. Judge not, that you be not judged - but we do need to assess and put behind us what is not good. Blessings for a great sermon.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Pride is necessary, with out pride we can accomplish nothing. I think we all have prejudices to some degree, the world has taught us some and others we develop by the things we see. I thank God my pride never crossed over to arrogance and my prejudices never took away my ability to love and see every one as equals. As always Eric, your Sunday sermons are a pleasure. You know I'm starting to look forward to these Sermons.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Harish, it is wonderful to hear from you and get your thoughts on these matters. Constant reflection is key to living a proper balance. Neither worshiping self nor denial of self are good ideas based upon my prejudice. I am glad I am blessed with the ability to consider my options.

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 2 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      great write my friend.. long time since I have read something deep and thoughtful.. (other than my own poetry..lol).. but it is always good to come back and see what the preacher has been doing... still going good I see.. keep the good fight going my friend,,,

      michael

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      I hear you, Eric. Moderation and balance would keep pride and prejudice in a healthy position in our lives. You give me more thoughts to consider. Thanks.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 2 years ago from India

      There is glory in having pride if you achieved something spectacular with great efforts, be it wealth, fame or honor, but when this pride propels you to snobbery and rudeness to people around you, this same pride makes you distasteful.

      Having sound principles and traits, unique to you, may result into some prejudices that people do not like, but you cannot compromise your principles and traits because of that. So, these kinds of prejudices will always remain a part of you. The Self is sure a mystery and needs a constant reflection. The self -awareness puts all bricks in place. Eric, this Sunday sermon talked about pride and prejudice in a different perspective. I loved that.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill thank you. That is just the uplifting push I needed. Be careful what you ask for. One time I had just the right amount of pride. Then I called someone to brag about it and ruined it.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I always love the sermons, Eric. I wish you'd do more of them, hint, hint, hint. Pride cometh before the fall....oh well, bring it on! :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Kathleen, your comment brings joy to me. Thank you

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Jodah, thank you I really like your comment. It seems that most prejudice that lingers is a fear and ignorance based perspective. It is a very interesting concept of the young having prejudices. They just have not been around long enough to have investigated all things much. So perhaps our juvenile prejudices are a self defense. Perhaps part of our fight or flight instant reaction. Maybe if we look into that aspect more we can learn more about why we hold on to prejudices long after experience should have dissuaded them.

      God made us perfect, so he must have given us prejudices for a reason. It is our job to learn how to use them appropriately.

      And thanks for taking the pride to present your best to the world, it is self evident in your writing.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      There is a lot here to digest, but I so enjoy the process. Thanks for this sermon and keep them coming.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Some wonderful lessons in this sermon Eric. When I was younger I admit that I had some prejudices.This was part of my upbringing, but as I grew older and wiser I began to look at the facts on both sides of most arguments and realised that my prejudices were ill founded. I even observed a lot of prejudice in a church I was attending which made me feel uncomfortable. I now feel as though I am a very accepting and mostly non-judgemental person. I do take pride in my appearance when I go out in public but admit I am often rather the opposite at home..where comfort or suitability comes first. Great stuff my friend. Voted up.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Whonu you lovingly remind me of Romans 12. It is worth the read. (7) if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;

      In living my rich and full life that the Lord has provided I have been given to many trades and professions from ranch hand to international physical commodities trading to coaching to preaching and even letrado. Somehow they were always as gifts from God. You my friend paint vivid and glorious renditions of this abundant world with words and teach us to appreciate the beauty in this marvelous creation. Certainly if God speaks through a preacher man God does even more so through you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Faith you have given blessings of great worth. I sincerely thank you. I think I have to admit that I am very proud of being my father's son. I know I told him so before he passed on. It seems to me that I should indeed be far more proud to be a son of the Most High. When I look real hard at it I find an answer to why there are troubles that I face. For me, they deflate me and remind me to stop being so proud that I rely on myself, then I can let go and let God. In this cycle my predilection for false pride is balanced. And so I am humbled and love God even more.

      I sure need a lot of attention and give thanks that my God has the time to give it to me.

      And of course I give thanks for you.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      I always enjoy your sermons. I am a student of sermons, as my grandfather was a minister of the gospel for fifty years. I once asked him if he was disappointed that I had not followed in his shoes, and to my delight, as a humble teacher, he told me that he felt what I did was more important because I taught children everyday and with grace. Made me feel blessed that I had made the right decision, for me. A friend in Georgia, chose the dedication to the Lord and preached the gospel, many years, as well. I suppose I did preach the gospel myself quite often, Great sermon my friend. whonu

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Dear Eric, thank you for posting your Sunday sermon on Tuesday for it seems it is always timely when I read. I love seeing you there in that first photo climbing! And you should be proud of that magnificent rose even though God did have His hand in it : )

      Wow, you have me thinking a bit differently about pride and prejudgment for sure. I guess the kind of pride God hates is that kind where one thinks of himself more so than God or loves himself more than God, possibly?

      I enjoy the stories you tell of that precious little one of yours and I know he will grow into a fine man, if he is anything like his Dad and mother. You are a wonderful teacher. God has given you the gift of teaching and many other gifts, obviously, and you should be proud to be called a son of the King, for I am proud to be called a daughter of the King.

      Up and all the way across, even funny, as I always laugh when you are describing yourself in your photos and the great one of you wearing your cowboy hat. Sharing everywhere too of course.

      God bless you and yours real good

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Mel, I was just thinking of my prejudice against heights. That is a good one because it is strictly fear based. And damn right I am scared to death about falling. What you cannot see in that photo is that I was not too proud to hand my pack off to my young stud elder son to carry up that cliff.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Getting over a distrust of one's self is a decades long process for people. You are right to nurture that young man with a healthy love for self, because the self we look at in the mirror is another one of Gods fine creations and deserves to be loved and respected. I will admit to being prejudiced against heights, however. I used to rock climb when I was young but all my joints hurt now and I've developed vertigo. I'll leave that to you. Great hub.