Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Self Esteem versus Self-protection!


There is a whole debate on Self Esteem
and that of self-protection.

By self-esteem, I define it as one's view evaluation of their own worth or self-worth.

I like the following definition: "the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness."

The problem with self-esteem is that sometimes the ability to cope with abuse in one's own life hurts their self-esteem or even questions their image as they are created by God and to be tranformed. I know the abuse I have suffered has hurt my own self-worth and even God-worth as I have focused much from ME to that of the Great "I AM"

We need to tell students that they are valued. They need to have self-worth. That God values them and created them. There is hope and purpose.

The real issue is how to balance this in a PC (Politically Correct) world that wants self-esteem to be self-protection. Self-protection is defined as that of protecting of one's self or others' their own emotional feelings and hurts so everyone can feel good about everyone else. So in self-protection - there is no games of Tag
, Dodgeball
and of course Kickball
because there are winners and losers.

There is not a clear cut way to coping with the basics of life. Everyone is OK. Everyone is a winner. Everyone's feelings are to not be trampled on. There is more coddling and less evaluation. There isn't even a clear cut Grading system. It is all about relationships and well "Self-esteem" but it is more Self-protection.

Life isn't Fair. The more children get to know this, the better. There are winners and losers. Not everyone can be a Superhero. We do need to praise people but also tell the truth in love.

The more self-protection we do - the more harm it is. The more people think because their Grandmother says they can Sing ...they think they are the next American Idol. In all reality ... they sing worse than William Hung
. It was just nobody had the guts to tell them until Simon Cowell
.

So what is the answer? Let's not focus on self-protecting. Society does enough of that. Let's have students know their worth and value they have in Christ. Even before they encounter Christ - they have to know they are valued, loved, and need to encounter the One who made them. This leads to spending time. Knowing the hurts. Praising students (sometimes that isn't what they get at home). Balancing how to cope with life and how God views it.

So what do you think? Is there too much self-protection? Do our students suffer from lack of self-esteem or are they protected too much?

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