Center For Living Peace

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Joan Didion on Self-Respect

“To assign unanswered letters their proper weight, to free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves–there lies the great, the singular power of self-respect. Without it, one eventually discovers the final turn of the screw: one runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home.”
― Joan Didion, On Self-Respect

didion

Joan Didion, one of America’s greatest writers and essayists, was only 27 years old when this essay was published in Vogue in 1961. In this essay, Didion characterizes self-respect as believing in the strength of one’s convictions, irregardless of validation from others. Those who are endowed with self-respect have, as Didion writes, “the courage of their mistakes.”

Read the entire essay here. Share with us below, what does self-respect mean to you?

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