My mind won’t rest and I don’t sleep Not even in my dreams…
I give hard work, loyalty and steadfastness. I swallow my frustrations and suppress my impulse to do what I would enjoy, and do what is expected of me instead. I do not put myself first; I put the needs of others ahead of my own. I give a lot, but what I get in return is worth it.
-Daniel Yankelovich, describing the ethic of self-denial (compared to the more current ethic of self-fulfillment)
…in their private lives people are less and less willing to pay the price of self-denial – whether it be to avoid a divorce, keep within one’s budget, practice, responsible family planning, give up anonymous and promiscuous sex, put the kids through college, give up your job to follow your husband, split the difference and look for a compromise, or slip and fall on your neighbor’s sidewalk and say it was your fault. As for people who are still willing to pay the price of self-denial (and of course many still are, or else we wouldn’t have a functioning society at all), they may look at others around them who are not and feel like suckers.
– Willard Gaylin and Bruce Jennings
Yeah, that about sounds right.