When I was corresponding with my former wife, she told me that her boyfriend was developing self-esteem. Low self-esteem did not begin to be the cause of the problem. His problem was not that he had low self-esteem. His problem was that he was an unappreciative pig. She gave him everything that she had to give, which was a lot. And all he could think of doing was beating up on her and the children. So we have some people claiming that people become good by developing self-esteem. This is complete crap. In fact a strong case can be made that it is the other way around. If you have higher standards for yourself, then you will find it harder to feel good about yourself than if you have lower standards for yourself. The person with lower standards will have higher self-esteem; the person with higher standards will be a better person. I have also heard such claims as that you need to love yourself before you can love another. Also absolute tripe. In fact it works the other way around. You love others for traits that you find lovable. Seeing these traits successfully expressed by another person, you know what you need to work for within yourself in order to be lovable in your own eyes. Another related claim is that you need to start by loving yourself. Also complete nonsense. You do not start by loving yourself. You start by loving the people whom you find lovable. Then, once again, seeing such traits expressed successfully by another, you know what you need to do in order to be lovable in your own eyes. So we see people making such claims as that romantic love is a search for external validation. In my case it is no such thing at all. It is not about what I feel about myself; it is about what I feel about the other person. I can validate myself all day long. That does not change what I feel for people I love. Now maybe if all you care about is yourself, you would accept these kinds of attitudes. However I have higher standards for myself than that. My relationship with myself is my own business. Whereas when I have someone good in my life, it becomes a lot more than that. Probably the saddest comment I've ever read was by a naturally altruistic woman who said that unless she could live for herself she could not live. This is an absolute outrage. Here was someone who had many good things to offer the world; but a wrongful ideology thwarted her in her goodness and told her to live by an inferior code of values. In fact there are many valid ways to live besides living for yourself. And what a sad state of affairs it is that it takes someone like me to point this out. An even greater outrage is that the people who believe such a thing would portray as narcissistic or sociopathic a person who does not. This, once again, is absolute outrage. You thwart people in actual altruism and then you claim them to be lacking in altruism and as being more selfish than people who practice such beliefs. Not even the Soviets could come up with a more ridiculous set of lies. I do not need to love myself in order to do meaningful things for other people. Nor do I need a high self-esteem for such a thing. What I need is to direct my efforts rightfully. And I have been doing that in many different situations. So it is about time that this nonsense be seen through. Self-esteem or loving yourself or anything of the same sort does absolutely nothing. What actually does things is being willing to do what needs to be done for the sake of the world. And that does not start with self-love or self-esteem or anything of the sort. It starts with willingness to do the right thing, whatever it means for yourself.