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Stabilizing our minds: Esteem needs – BASIL SPRINGER COLUMN (DECEMBER 20, 2021)

Basil Springer
“One man esteems one day as more important. Another esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind.” Romans 14:5

Satisfying our needs as human beings and achieving harmony living in the same space on Earth is a complex affair. We compete for resources to satisfy our physiological survival needs, then as spiritual beings in an earthly environment we seek to preserve the sanctity of our mind, body, and create that fabric of love that binds us together.

Alas, that is not all. We must engage in positive belief systems to feed our needs for fame and glory as we cross the bridge of respect, confidence, competence and achievement. If we do not get this right, we run the risk of lapsing into an abyss of falsehoods, greed, selfishness, narcissism, loneliness, anxiety, and depression. 

When I first entered university in Jamaica, I was fresh from my cheeky Barbadian cocoon of comfort, but I was also thrust into a new environment of contemporaries who were more talented than I was.

The illusions of fame and glory that had sprung up in my mind were about to take a hit. Fortunately, my parents came to my rescue by continually reminding me that they only expected me to do my best. 

As a young man living as part of a minority in a hostile racial environment in the U.K. in the 1960s, my father taught me to exude self-respect by carrying myself (appearance and behavior) with honor and dignity. 

I later learned how to command respect from others by practicing the tenets of Rotary International’s Four Way Test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned (win-win)?

Life’s experience is still teaching me the importance of respecting others and showing that I care. 
Last week in an interview, I was asked what would you say is the top characteristic for your success in life? I responded without hesitation: “Discipline.” I have always lived a rather structured life and I get things done. I always share with entrepreneurs, whom I shepherd, that they must be passionate about what they do, persistent and never give up while being patient while awaiting results.Then of course there is the Sequential Evolutionary Approach (SEA) concept where the intelligence gained at any step along a journey fashions the next step.  

Often, we go through prescribed formal schooling processes and then rue the fact if we have not gone as far as we would have liked. My advice is that we can learn from the cradle to the grave. We must encourage ourselves and others to pursue every opportunity that comes our way to acquire knowledge especially now that this is facilitated by tools of the information age. As we go through life, we assemble a roller deck of contacts. Leverage them to the fullest, they are an invaluable source of information and knowledge. We should document our experiences and mobilize them to shape the future of disruptive innovation. 

Do not hide our lights under a bushel, modestly show them off. How else can we guarantee that others know about us? Frame and hang our certificates, chronicle our successes. Share our recognitions and awards. Be proud about what other people think about us. 

Let us continually build our esteem and seek new horizons as we celebrate safely during this Christmas season.Season’s blessings to all!
(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is [email protected]. His columns may be found at and on
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