Here’s a recent quote from the 2008 Rookie of the Year, 2014 MVP, and eight-time All-NBA selection, who has won the Finals MVP two years running, and who elected, on two separate instances, to sign with the Golden State Warriors: “You know they’re not going to give me anything.” When asked why he’s been treated this way in Defensive Player of the Year voting, Draymond Green’s teammate said, “I mean, it’s just pure hate for me, obviously. Um, and no appreciation for my real skill for the game.”
For no particular reason, here are some excerpts of an extremely famous 1961 Joan Didion essay:
The dismal fact is that self-respect has nothing to do with the approval of others—who are, after all, deceived easily enough; has nothing to do with reputation—which, as Rhett Butler told Scarlett O’Hara, is something that people with courage can do without.
To live without self-respect is to lie awake some night, beyond the reach of warm milk, phenobarbital, and the sleeping hand on the coverlet, counting up the sins of commission and omission, the trusts betrayed, the promises subtly broken, the gifts irrevocably wasted through sloth or cowardice or carelessness. However long we post-pone it, we eventually lie down alone in that notoriously un- comfortable bed, the one we make ourselves. Whether or not we sleep in it depends, of course, on whether or not we respect ourselves.
Like Jordan Baker, people with self-respect have the courage of their mistakes. They know the price of things. If they choose to [sign with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors], they do not then go running, in an access of bad conscience, to receive absolution from the wronged parties; nor do they complain unduly of the unfairness, the undeserved embarrassment, of being named corespondent.
To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth which, for better or for worse, constitutes self-respect, is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference. If we do not respect ourselves, we are on the one hand forced to despise those who have so few resources as to consort with us, so little perception as to remain blind to our fatal weaknesses. On the other, we are peculiarly in thrall to everyone we see, curiously determined to live out—since our self-image is untenable—their false notions of us.
That was On Self-Respect. Thanks, Joan!