An old saying goes: “Only by knowing shame can we have self-esteem.” Shame is not far from reproach. With a sense of guilt and remorse, you feel ashamed of yourself when you do something wrong. You feel upset when you fall short of your efforts and let your family and friends down, as well as others’ expectations. You are sad and disappointed when you fail yourself. You must return to the three treasures of life: integrity, wonder, and self-discipline.
When you experience shame and humiliation, you can still get back up and learn from your mistakes. And when you do, you will find that inner spark of self-respect there, and you may go on to live a fruitful life. It will be so when you vow to never again go beyond the bounds of decency. If you have no sense of shame, your conscience becomes wrecked and you will be prone to do or say anything ridiculous or offensive.
Admitting your shame shows that you can tell right from wrong. It enables you to fulfill your dreams, do great things, and be a great person. What’s frightening is when you never want to learn from your mistakes and correct your bad behavior. If you undermine your own moral values and justify your actions in the face of all logic and reason, right there and then, if you can be honest with yourself, you will know in your heart that you still need to improve.
Only by knowing shame can you rise up and maintain your integrity and have self-respect. To be a noble person, you can learn from shame and maintain your standards. These inner treasures are things money can’t buy.
A humble and revered heart can help you stop doing wrong. Pride always comes before a fall. By maintaining a sense of wonder, you will be able to handle yourself well. Knowing that every action has a reaction and by thinking of others you show yourself to be a well-bred and responsible human being.
You will be able to resist temptation because you will foresee the bitterness that comes from it.
If you lose your sense of wonder and appreciation, you might become reckless and selfish, do and say whatever you want, act lawlessly, leaving you to eat the bitter fruit alone with only yourself to blame.
You will usually be able to sense danger if maintain the sense of childlike wonder. It will help you to determine your unique situation in life, observe the rules of good behavior, work in a down-to-earth manner, be a wholesome person, and keep your moral baseline. In this way, these inner treasures become your close and loyal friends.
Self-discipline is one of your life’s best tools for positive change. All successful people know how to discipline themselves. Self-discipline teaches you to rise above the humdrum and mediocrity of life. You can start with self-discipline, change yourself, and take control of your life.
Self-discipline is a determined love of life, a love of accomplishment, and by continuously improving yourself, you are empowering yourself to do better in life.
Self-discipline allows you to make better use of your time and gives you an opportunity to improve and develop your skills.
Knowing shame, having heartfelt appreciation, and practicing self-discipline is the secret to a fulfilling life. Having a sense of shame is the beginning of wonder, and wonder is the key to self-discipline, and self-discipline is the source of freedom.
May you always cherish a humble heart, maintain a sense of wonder, and exercise self-discipline. That way life becomes rich and rewarding inside and out.
Translated by Joseph Wu and edited by Helen