Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Self-Worth,

Signed up for a gym membership, back to daily visits, and Jay and I are going to print out a Wikipedia version of the official rules of racquetball and figure it out.

A few weeks ago, Jay and I argued about self-worth. This arose from my complaint about self-esteem gurus teaching their pupils to love themselves no matter what. My criticism was that this teaches people to fool themselves into feeling like they're worthwhile people (when in reality, they're just the same people they always were), when instead they should be going out and becoming worthwhile people.

Jay's response was that I was presuming that people's initial self-evaluation is accurate and that the self-esteem lesson is a distortion of that accuracy, whereas he believes the opposite: that people systematically undervalue themselves, and these self-esteem lessons are really teaching people to value themselves accurately.

Formally, or at least moreso, Person X thinks he'll be a worthwhile person if he accomplishes goal G. I think that Person X is right. Jay thinks X is wrong--instead, X is already a worthwhile person, goal G achieved or not.

That's the exhibition--I have no solution, though obviously I'm right and Jay isn't.

(Though finding who's right seems problematic, it's no more so than any form of knowledge. We always trade off one impression--be it self-evaluative, aural, et al--against another that we rank as more likely true, which is why high school seniors in AP Chemistry lab can't disprove basic theories of molecular combination, no matter the color or consistency of their final compounds.)


[5:34:01 PM] Scott says: How about dinner and racquetball?

[5:34:19 PM] Jay Goodman Tamboli says: I'm eating now, and I'm probably going to go to bed early.

[5:34:28 PM] Scott says: So that's a no and a no.

[5:34:35 PM] Jay Goodman Tamboli says: Yup. Tired and hungry.

[5:34:42 PM] Scott says: You're afraid of my skills.

[5:34:50 PM] Jay Goodman Tamboli says: Not at all.

[5:35:03 PM] Scott says: I should warn you. Said skills are mad.

2 comments:

Joshua Holmes said...

From what I've read of the self-help gurus, the underlying premise is that people sabotage their successes because they don't believe they are worthy of success. The self-help part is to believe that you are worthy enough to be successful, so that you don't sabotage your road to it.

Scott said...

Depends on your vintage--some do teach that. And I agree with that slant.