Monday, July 11, 2011
There are few writers who make me think as deeply as bell hooks. She is a prolific writer, educator, scholar, and activist. I keep a quote of hers as a reminder of where I aspire to arrive someday. bell hooks said, "I was a poorly paid academic who had just started her teaching career. Ten year later, I had become a well-paid internationally known intellectual." As a poorly paid emerging academic, I want to get there.
I recently read , Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem. bell discusses the impact of racism on the psyche of African Americans, but her advice is relevant for anyone. The lack of self-esteem, or the overflow of it, is really the determining factor of success in every aspect of living. We have to esteem ourselves before we can flourish in any intimate relationship. The Bible even tells us to love our neighbors as we ourselves.Can anyone really love another spirit if they don't love themselves firstly? Stalking and obsession begins when the love for another person is greater than your love for yourself. I was watching Dr. Laura Berman; she referenced a statistic that reveled that a majority of women would give up a year of sex to be as skinny as they wanted to be. A year of no sexual pleasure just to be skinny, is an esteem problem! Instead of focusing on outer beauty, the inner beauty is what garners self-esteem. According to bell hooks, we have to promote self-acceptance, self-assertion, self-responsibility, living consciously, or purposefully. I finish with a bell hooks quote, "The value of consumer-driven status and power encourage people to stay unconscious, to conform, to follow the leader and stay with the pack." Love your self and start with this good read.