Just noticed this haskoma that Rav Reuven Feinstein gave to "Bringing Out the Best" by Rabbi Roll. The book describes how to build self-esteem based on the wisdom of the Alter of Slobadka. What isinteresting is Rabbi Feinstein stating:
"In yeshivos today there is literally a pandemic of low self-esteem. An outcome of this most horrible condition, is that once a person has achieved a state where self-worth and self-value are diminished, that person is literally open to all foreign pressures, both within and without our community. Once those pressures are given free reign, the outcome is without exception, negative."
I asked someone who is a principal about this and he said simply it is a serious problem in the litvishe yeshivas but not in the chassidic or Sefardic ones. He said it is an inherent result of the elitist philosophy that if you are not the best in learning you are nothing. He agreed that this is a reflection of the success of the view espoused by Rav Dessler in Michtav M'Eliyahu. See Rav Dessler - producing gedolim at expense of others. In the chassidic and sefardic yeshiva systems it is possible to have self-esteem in ways other than being the top guy in learning.
My question is since the pandemic of low self-esteem is apparently a direct and inevitable consequence of the yeshiva education itself than why is it being lamented? This is akin to the son who killed his parents and then pleads for mercy since he is an orphan. You can't deliberately develop an educational system that inevitably destroys self-esteem and then bemoan the fact that yeshiva kids go off the derech because they have low self-esteem.
This is related to my recent post about the dangers of the Internet. While the yeshiva world is warning of the huge danger that the Internet presents to our communities - they seem to be ignoring the risk factors which make people susceptible to Internet addiction. One of them happens to be low self-esteem.
In short, it is well within the capability of the yeshiva world to build up self esteem in their students and thus diminish the real dangers from the outside secular world - but they chose not to and instead focus on restricting access to the outside world. An exercise in futility.