I used to think I had really poor self-esteem. Now I'm not so sure. I heard some words come out of one of my children's mouth today that shocked me to my core. He said, "So, anyway I suck at math..."
"What???" I asked incrediously, "Why do you say that?"
"Because, today, I didn't know what division was."
"But you know what division is, you've been doing division since before you even started school!"
"Oh, I know," he said, "but I didn't know what the word meant."
"So, you didn't know what a word meant, but how does that mean you suck at math?" I asked.
"Because I didn't know what it meant!" he replied, his face forming one big DUH!
I told him not knowing something did NOT make him suck, and what's more I never wanted to hear him say something like that about himself. I told him he needed to know his worth. He wanted to know what I meant. I explain that there is a LOT of stuff I know nothing about, that I may never know anything about, but that didn't diminish my worth. I told him that two things happen when a person repeatedly says stuff like they suck, or they're dumb, or they're useless. Firstly, they start to believe this about themself. Secondly, other people start to believe this about them as well, despite evidence to the contrary.
I've heard too many intelligent, clever, capable people put themselves down as sucking, or being completely useless at, or being dumb. I could never say such things about myself because I know they're just not true and false humility is not a trait I want to develop. There is plenty I don't know, plenty I will never know, but one thing I know with certainty and that is my own worth, I would never sell myself short. I really hope this is something my son learned tonight, too.
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