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September 1, 2015

Dressed for Success

Hal photo outside Feb2012Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.” (Rabbi Abraham Heschel)

Remember the first time your 3-year-old daughter dressed herself? She was spending a lot of time in her closet, and she finally presented herself—clothed in a horribly mismatched collection of colors, patterns, and styles.

While a part of you couldn’t stand the idea of taking this creature out in public, you couldn’t help but notice the look on her face. She was beaming with pride, filled with the self-respect that only comes to those who are allowed, and even encouraged, to own their unique space in the world.

The more she’s empowered to say yes to herself in this way, the more she’ll also begin to say no to her less helpful desires. It won’t happen immediately, but starting with self-respect leads to eventual self-discipline.

Beginning with perfect outfits, always picked out by your image-conscious parents? Well, good luck with that.

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