“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo da Vinci
When the New Year rolls around, people think of New Year’s resolutions,
renewal of old resolutions, and making real changes in their lives. The quote above by Leonardo da Vinci is well-taken. You can’t sit and wait for the things you want to happen to you. You have to go out and make them happen and sometimes, that is not particularly comfortable. It takes courage to go out and get what you want and accomplish something while you’re doing it. The act of doing just that is what builds real self-esteem and helps in the renewal of old New Year’s resolutions that never came to fruition.
We seem to have a problem in our society with self-esteem. For a number of years, parents have been told to praise their children. To tell Johnny and Susie how wonderful they are, how good they do in school and in all their extra-curricular activities no matter if it is true or not. The predominant thinking is that if not only parents, but teachers and other adults, praised and rewarded children for whatever they did, whether it was really good or not, it would build their self-esteem.
Parents, coaches, teachers were to tell the children that they were beautiful, smart, and talented in every area of their lives even if it wasn’t true. Schools, sports activities, and cultural activities (piano lessons, dancing, to name two) started awarding blue ribbons and trophies to everyone instead of just the winners of competitions. Everyone became a winner! The thinking was that this would build the children’s self-esteem.
The human mind is smarter than this. Children knew that they weren’t always winners and that this false self-esteem that had been instilled in them was built on a house of cards. They had enough experiences in life to find out that they weren’t always smart or beautiful or talented and that sometimes they failed. They had not been taught how to handle failure. The result? Lowered self-esteem due to something called life experiences.
Our children have been taught that they are wonderful and think they can sail through life. That makes them narcissistic, entitled, and lacking in motivation. They don’t think they have to DO anything. They have low self-esteem and tend to have poor relationships because they think they don’t deserve any better. We have failed our children.
The children need to be taught that in order to showcase their talent and beauty and intelligence they actually have to do something. They have to accomplish something. Accomplishment is what will give them a feeling of self-worth and self-esteem. If a child comes in last in a race, they shouldn’t get the blue ribbon. If a child fails a test, they should get a failing grade with encouragement to study hard to bring up that grade. Like Leonardo da Vinci said, accomplishment means you go out and happen to things. You don’t wait for things to come to you. That is what builds real self-esteem.
Let’s renew our New Year’s resolutions to care for the children in our life by encouraging accomplishment in order to build real self-esteem. That is true for ourselves as well. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #NewYearsResolutions #selfesteem