We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
... what most “self-esteem” advocates fail to understand is that other-reliant “self-esteem” is a contradiction in terms. Far from building self-esteem, many of the counselors, teachers, and parents of yesteryear obstructed its growth by getting kids hooked on a spiritual I.V. drip of external validation. Instead of self-esteem, this created a dependence on “other-esteem.”
It is no wonder then that today we are faced with the (often exaggerated) phenomenon of young, entitled, high-maintenance validation-junkies in the classroom and the workplace. Their self-esteem has been crippled by being, on the one hand, atrophied by the psychic crutches of arbitrary authoritarian approval, and, on the other hand, repeatedly fractured by the psychic cudgels of arbitrary authoritarian disapproval.
I'll add this thought, that these initiatives that the pop-psych adherents employ actually works to undermine the development of the self-esteem that Branden described.
Certainly it dawns on most young people, if adults need to give them repeated compliments and affirmations, that maybe they are failures receiving pity, and they lack any ability to accomplish much.
There are generations of youth who are angry, desperately seeking ways to achieve something of note, to earn legitimate self-esteem. They are the cry-bullies who have undertaken the quest of achieving social justice to placate their hunger for substantial achievement.
This should not be ignored, as it's a robust fuel that empowers them. It should also not be ignored as it provides an approach to address their absurd antics.
I would add to this that the concept that everyone gets a trophy is the simple application of Marxism writ large. If everyone gets one, then the value of the trophy drops to nil, just as if everyone gets paid the same, regardless of the value of their work, then work gets devalued to nothing as well.
Socialism, communism, Marxism is the murder of the human spirit and the destruction of any sense of the economy, both the human economy and the financial economy.
In 1976, a professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley published an essay outlining the fundamental laws of a force he perceived as humanity’s greatest existential threat: Stupidity.
Stupid people, Carlo M. Cipolla explained, share several identifying traits: they are abundant, they are irrational, and they cause problems for others without apparent benefit to themselves, thereby lowering society’s total well-being. There are no defenses against stupidity, argued the Italian-born professor, who died in 2000. The only way a society can avoid being crushed by the burden of its idiots is if the non-stupid work even harder to offset the losses of their stupid brethren.
The self esteem movement is essentially a bullying movement. They rarely if ever actually try to raise the self esteem of those who lack self esteem. But rather they choose to attack easy targets who are essentially those who drip self esteem. After all, don'tcha know, the reason people lack self esteem is because others are so successful or lucky or thin or athletic. So of course the solution to low self esteem is to attack those who are successful, lucky, thin or athletic. Bring them down, destroy their self esteem and the problem will go away.
Naturally, the two types who have issues with the so-called self esteem movement - aside from their obvious mislabeling - are those full of themselves and those who wouldn't be caught dead in a therapists office.
Oops, that's one, isn't it? Funny how both have the same dysfunction to credit for this loud, assumed superiority...