Self Compassion VS. Self-esteem
In the above article it speaks about something that I have thought about for many yrs but have been unable to fully express it as well as the article seems to. I was born in 1978 and remember doing the 'I am Special' worksheets in school. I thought it was idiotic then and I still do now. Let me say why, quite bluntly.
Let's take the whole 'you're special just as you are and can do anything you want to' statement. Untrue, and irrational. Those of us that were outcasts and left out of the loop of acceptable people at school learned this lesson early. The narcissistic, bratty, rich kids got what they wanted. The poor, odd kids did not, and were not so disillusioned when life turned out differently.
I knew that some people were better at most if not all things than I was. This was just a fact and the way it was/is. Things that matter to school aged children anyway. I conflicted with the information that I was special given to me by my parents and by other adults, because it didn't seem that were the case based on my life.
Take the 'you can be anything you want to be' phrase that was quite drilled into our little heads. Rationally speaking, only a very, very, very small percentage of people will be president, or an astronaut, or a brain surgeon. It's the way it is, but that doesn't make one a failure, but I think it felt that way to our generation. Not everyone is going to be successful and the ones that are had to work for it, as well as be naturally inclined for what they chose to do. We don't all automatically get to be and do what we want. That lesson, I think was mostly lost on my generation. Now, we have people filing for bankruptcy because they bought a nice house, nice car, nice clothes and couldn't afford it. Because why? You know why.... they Deserved it. They're special, They should have nice things. The Princess of yesteryear was told that she'd have nice things. These sorts, really irritate me. With all sarcasm aside, it was damaging to tell a whole 2 decades of people that they're wonderful just being themselves and they are entitled to what they want. That's not how life works, and it's honestly quite self centered of a way to think. It's ass backwards in the way of valuing what really matters. We're not taught to value others, as much as ourselves. I don't remember ever doing a worksheet in school about kindness to others without praise to our ego. Having a good character that has integrity, honesty, love and kindness may not be what most people think of as being successful, but it should be.
If we took the focus off of our own life and our own narrow viewpoint and thought about others more we would feel better about ourselves and the world would be a better place. Think about it. How much stress would be avoided if we weren't trying to get ahead all of the time? If most of us strived to be better people by being less self centered and more compassionate to everyone else?