Defending Self-Esteem | Richard M. Cohen

August 21, 2014 2:22 PM

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When I step into the trap of believing I am less of a person than I used to be, is that a thinly-disguised message from others or a self-generated attack on my own self-esteem? As Meredith walks beaches alone while I sit at the computer, when she shops in Provincetown as I sit at the computer, I do feel I am less of a person, less of a man. I, along with everyone else, am a product of my culture. Or is that a prisoner of my culture?

As a person, I feel robbed, as a man, inadequate. Those are very different dynamics. Popular culture is reductionist, and Madison Avenue groupthink creates the ideal man. He is only a modern version of the Marlboro Man and a logical next caricature. We, the infirmed, are not that guy. He is perched ...

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