Friday, October 15, 2004

Know what healthy self-esteem can do

Know what healthy self-esteem can do

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Friday, October 15, 2004 1:29 AM

It’s amazing how important affirmations and honors are to most of us. All over the country, you will find names of donors on the walls of public schools, tributes to those who donated to the school. There are organizations that will give you a plaque of appreciation if you give a certain amount. They know how to get to those who are hungry to put something on the wall.

This isn’t true to everyone, however. There are those whose self-esteem is in such good shape that they don’t need these things. Take Michael Jordan, for example. In his book Rebound, the sports author Bob Greene writes about an exchange he had with Jordan. It was about the bronze sculpture of Michael in front of the United Center in Chicago where Jordan played during the best years of his life. Greene asked him how he felt about the honor.

“I’m not a statue,” Mike said. “I’m glad that people seem to like going to see the statue, but the whole thing makes me feel very strange. A statue just stands still forever while people stare at it. I’m a person. I’m alive.”

“People are tossing coins at it,” Greene said.

“Come on,” Jordan replied in disbelief.

“It’s true. They do it as a good luck thing. They try to make the coins land on the base of the statue and stick.”

“If they were going to toss coins at me,” said Michael, “I wish they would have done it while I was still playing.”

“Had you seen the statue before they drew the curtain back?”

“Not the real thing,” said the basketball immortal. “They’d shown me a model of it.”

“Do you ever plan to drive by it, when no one else is around?” asked Greene.

“No, it’s not something I have a whole lot of interest in doing… driving out to see myself in front of a building.”

“It might be an interesting feeling,” Greene insisted.

“What am I going to do?” Michael replied, “get out of the car and toss coins at myself for luck?”

“So you have no desire to go out some night by yourself and look at it?” said Greene, who wouldn’t let go.

“What do I want to look at a statue for” snapped Michael impatiently. “It’s a piece of metal. It’s stuck in one place. It doesn’t move. I’m a man.”

Now here’s a man who feels so good about himself that he doesn’t need what most of us would die for.

This is the same guy who said, “If you’re going to change your life, whatever you may say about it is basically meaningless unless and until you do it.”

The truly great ones who have made it and who have healthy self-esteem don’t need another plaque of appreciation. They already have a pile of them. They are too busy looking forward to spend much time thinking of what they have accomplished.

Again Jordan: “It’s up to you to decide what you ought to do with the time you have in your life. You’re the only one.”


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