"Did I hurt somebody by saying that ‘I love myself?’" -Kanye West
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been asked what you want to do with your life, yet, you hesitated on answering honestly in fear of telling small minded people your big dreams? The sad reality of this situation isn’t uncommon, and you’re not the only one.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the rate of antidepressants used amongst American teens and adults (people ages 12 and older) increased by almost 400% between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008.
Prescription drugs combating mental illness and depression seem to be at an all time high. Why is this the case? Is it because we currently have more people on this earth which is naturally leading to more cases of mental illness? Or is it because the society we are being raised in and the culture we are promoting isn’t synonymous with personal happiness? Young children and adults alike strive for material goods in hopes to satiate a need for validation. Be it designer clothing or a luxury car, this need for approval from others manifests itself in many different ways.
In a motivational compilation video edited by Riaz TV featuring Kanye West, the commentary on low self-esteem and need for validation is prominent. In the video, West expresses his thoughts on how our need for validation typically stems from low self-esteem. He talks about how most people either don’t believe they can change their perception of themselves, or they don’t even realize that their perception and low self-esteem is holding them back and bringing them down. If your case happens to be the former, click here for our article on perception.
West, who is no stranger to the concept of self love and high self-esteem, in a way embodies perhaps the exact opposite of our current culture. Contrary to popular belief, it would seem as evidenced by this video, that West is more concerned with people loving themselves, than he is with them loving him.
That’s what people are controlled by, their perceptions of themselves… it seems like the world is all based off of people being taught NOT to think highly of themselves, and by you not thinking highly of yourself, you think less of other people. You end up marginalizing yourself, and the people around you. – Kanye West
Simply put, if you are able to fully accept, appreciate, and love yourself as an individual, despite recognizing your personal flaws, you will actually be able to transfer the same love and acceptance to the individuals around you (as West suggests). If you possess high self esteem, it won’t matter what people think or say about you. Instead, you will recognize that they are most likely unhappy with themselves, otherwise, they wouldn’t care enough to bring you down or promote any sort of negativity in your world. This concept works similarly to the ‘pay it forward’ concept. Show the world this mindset and promote not just your own, but their self esteem also, and the world will naturally become a happier place.
You don’t hurt anybody by thinking highly of yourself. We are all flawed individuals, but we are all worthy of both love and acceptance.