Esteem typically refers back to the individual using the word. Self-esteem is how the word is commonly seen, reflecting a selfish connotation. Self-esteem implies an individual seeking to feel better about himself or herself. Self-esteem focuses power back on the individual. It benefit’s the one at the exclusion of the many.
But, what happens when this power is focused externally? That is, when it is harnessed for the many? Esteem, as a noun (a person, place, or thing), refers to worth. The idea is to have a singularly desirable attribute that others want. But, when esteem is used as a verb (an action word) the entire dynamic changes. As a verb, esteem means to set a high value on something, or to determine something to be worthy. By placing a high value on an idea, a person, or an object, the action of esteeming affects many. When a group esteems a leader, that leader has the ability to harness the group’s energy toward a specific goal. The leader can leverage the group’s communal efforts toward significant achievement. In essence once the group esteems the leader, the leader’s is empowered to project his values into the group. Then, the leader is equipped to leverage the group’s efforts toward their specific achievement.
Regarding an idea or set of values, an individual needs to identify what they esteem. An individual who identifies, then acts upon their values, will find it easier to live their values. For example, an individual who esteems education will value it, seek it, then deploy it. Education becomes key to their decision making framework and consequently part of their character. Esteem education, esteem wealth, esteem service, esteem generosity, all are examples of worthy attributes. Nevertheless, what is critical is to esteem attributes that are consistent with an individual’s values. Individuals who claim to esteem a virtue, yet have actions that are self-centered are worse than hypocrites. They will fail to achieve their cherished virtue, or their self-centered ambitions.
The common person believes esteem builds the individual. The extraordinary individual realizes that esteeming a value is a powerful, magnified force once it is projected outwardly. Esteeming education raises the quality of others within an individual’s sphere of influence. Esteeming wealth results in unbridled pursuit of economic gain which potentially leads to job creation and community growth. Esteem as an action word creates activity because it unleashes passion and purpose. In pursuit of individual excellence, examine and determine what attribute is esteemed. Then, act accordingly. Set a high value on it. Engage others to behold the worthiness of esteeming this item or idea. Reap the benefits of your communal efforts.