The Downfall of Self-Esteem Glorification


Credit : Soberistas

“ Any effort that has self-glorification as its final endpoint is bound to end in disaster. Now we’re paying the price. When you try to climb a mountain to prove how big you are, you almost never make it. And even if you do it’s a hollow victory. In order to sustain the victory you have to prove yourself again and again in some other way, and again and again and again, driven forever to fill a false image, haunted by the fear that the image is not true and someone will find out. That’s never the way.”

The paragraph from Part 3, Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintainance by Robert M. Pirsig kept boogling into my mind as there’re more online daredevil actions went into viral fame following the infamous case of several female youngsters climbed on a signboard of one of the famous city in Malaysia.

In my honest opinion, their actions appears as an effort with obvious elements of self-glorification. ‘Made a big ego thing out of the whole outdoor experience’, as Robert M. Pirsig has said.

Is this the highest price to pay for introducing and cultivating the idea that our self-esteem are more important than self-compassion into our culture ?

As I read through an article about self-esteem and self-compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff, the same question came across my mind. Her article is an interesting discussion about both things, specifically about how and why she is suggesting that we should stop chasing self-esteem and start developing self-compassion.

Her article is something worth to read. If anyone interesting to see the downfall of boosting self-esteem, here are the link to her article :

I agree with Dr. Kristin Neff, even though she wrote that article based on The U.S cultural context. In global level nowadays, more and more younger people falling into narcissism/self-loathing trap or at least feeling better about themselves with the need of feeling better than the others.

The local videos and picture(s) of risky behaviors that went viral and my own personal journey in Malay Literature world in the past are the strong evidence of what had happened when we put self-esteem more important than self-compassion.

In my case, I need to acknowledge selfless efforts of mountain guides of Mount Kinabalu during June 5th earthquake tragedy to save myself from narcissism/self-loathing trap.

Now, it is the time to stop chasing self-esteem like the mouse running inside the wheel just for chasing the cheese. Malaysian culture is originally based on humbleness and selfless traditions, and if it is a harmonious and beautiful painting, so chasing self-esteem ala Western block is like adding a colour that creates disharmony in the painting.