Are You Truly Special?
Socializing our young people to consider themselves as special is a complex paradox. On one hand, I believe it’s good for my wife and I to consider our children and our grandchildren to be special. On the other hand, there's a realization that almost everyone is pretty average. The good we are able create in life will result from effort, no matter the skill level we may have been blessed with at birth.
Back in the 60’s and 70’s, those of us who became educators were taught that learning best occurred when incorporating high self-esteem and positive reinforcement. We had strategies to give young people high self-esteem while positively reinforcing everyone with stickers and treats. Ok, that’s good stuff to a point, but it’s not real. Life isn't going to give you a participation trophy. We need to do a better job of balancing those tools with these 4 realities.
1st- Self-esteem cannot be given; it must be earned. It’s earned by our own efforts and good character. Doing what's right can make us feel really good inside.
2nd- It’s not possible for the world to recognize us for each step of progress we make. We must be aware that our accomplishments are best when that good feeling from goals achieved is internalized and we don’t require a trophy for doing what’s right.
3rd- The pursuit of happiness must also be earned. It’s not given or guaranteed. It's earned by making our own choices to put ourselves on the right path towards success. As we have discussed before, happiness is goals achieved.
4th- We live our lives in groups. Successful groups result from group members placing the group ahead of themselves. We must work together to achieve the group’s goals.
So, are you somebody special? To some, yes you are. To most others, we are just another average person. It's up to you to determine your impact.