A person lacking internal feelings of self-worth feels a need for honor from others. The greater the lack of self-esteem, the greater the need for the validation of one’s self-worth through the approval of others.
When a person feels sad because someone did not show him respect or give him approval, he can say to himself, “What will I really gain if this person does show me respect or does approve of me? What do I really lose by his insulting me?” The answer is: Nothing! Both honor and humiliation are very temporary states, and rarely make practical differences in our lives. So why upset yourself because someone failed to honor you? If a person will internalize the truth of this concept, he will never feel sad about lack of honor or approval.
The true Indian sets no price upon either his property or his labor. His generosity is limited only by his strength and ability. He regards it as an honor to be selected for a difficult or dangerous service, and would think it shameful to ask for any reward, saying rather: “Let the person I serve express his thanks according to his own bringing up and his sense of honor.”
Many are the natures of men, various their manners of living, yet a straight path is always the right one; and lessons deeply taught lead man to paths of righteousness; reverence, I say, is wisdom and by its grace transfigures - so that we seek virtue with a right judgment. From all of this springs honor bringing ageless glory into Man’s life. Oh, a mighty quest is the hunting out of virtue.
Surely, if we considered detraction to be bred of envy, nested only in deficient minds, we should find that the applauding of virtue would win us far more honor than the seeking slyly to disparage it. That would show we loved what we commended, while this tells the world we grudge at what we want in ourselves.
Our best hope for the future is that the intellect - the scientific spirit, reason - should in time establish a dictatorship over the human mind. The very nature of reason is a guarantee that it would not fail to concede to human emotions, and to all that is determined by them, the position to which they are entitled. But the common pressure exercised by such a domination of reason would prove to be the strongest unifying force among men, and would prepare the way for further unifications. Whatever, like the ban laid upon thought by religion, opposes such a development is a danger for the future of mankind.
Suffering has the ability to weaken one’s desires. It can separate a person from cleaving to material matters. When one is in the midst of suffering, he can see it is possible for him to live without gratifying his desires, and without honor and approval. Little by little, he becomes free from those things he was previously bound to. His suffering can help him open his eyes to see his true self and internal wealth.
What may be called “club-opinion” is one of the very strongest forces in life. The thief must not steal from other thieves; the gambler must pay his gambling-debts, though he pay no other debts in the world. The code of honor of fashionable society has throughout history been full of permissions as well as of vetoes, the only reason for following either of which is that so we best serve one of our social selves.