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Q: What is self-respect? How is it different from ego?
Sri Sri: Self-respect is respecting yourself irrespective of what others call you.
A thousand years ago, when India was attacked in the North east, a saint was captured.
The captors tried to humiliate the saint, chained his legs and wanted to sell him as a slave.
The saint kept smiling. He said: ‘A slave is on sale. Who wants to buy him?’
There are many examples of people who were humiliated in the world. Yet they kept on walking with their heads held high.
In self-respect, you keep your composure. Ego needs someone else to be there. When you’re all alone, there is no ego. When someone comes in, then the ego comes up. Your body language changes. If someone pokes you, then your ego gets hurt.
Nobody can take away your self-respect.
Just keep smiling and be happy,
Embrace the ups and downs of life and continue walking.
Do whatever you can do for others.