It is not uncommon for us to compare ourselves to people and things and end up feeling inferior or just plain bad about ourselves. Once we start down that road, it is easy to get lost in comparative despair. Many of us do not recognize that making these comparisons is a choice, and that is good news! Rather than fall victim to our own negative assessments, we can choose to take another route. We can appreciate those other people and situations and appreciate ourselves exactly the way we are.
In our district, when a student is struggling, one of our primary jobs is to help that student redefine themselves in the light of success rather than failure. Everyone has strengths that can be capitalized on. When these gifts are valued properly they pave the way for success in every area. Too often, students who have all the tools required to be successful get ahold of faulty ideas regarding what they can accomplish. They might start believing that they are less valuable than the students they perceive to be successful. This can wreak all manner of havoc in the classroom and on the way these students feel about themselves.
In Jan Glusac’s first grade class at El Rincon Elementary School, students recently embarked on a project called “Love Your Selfie!” The project is the brainchild of local artist, Darrell Fusaro. As part of the assignment, each child created a self-portrait on a stick. The students then set out to take inspiring photos with their self-portrait standing in for them in the pictures.
One of the exciting elements of the project was allowing the students to choose their self-portrait templates from a bag. Each unique template was made from ripped cardboard. They came in all shapes and sizes. The students were told not to worry about getting the right one, because the perfect “selfie” would pick them. Each child was excited as they discovered which uniquely shaped cardboard puppet had chosen them. The students then proceeded to draw and decorate their unique self-portrait and then go out and share them with the world.
It is easy to forget that our first concern in life is to take care of ourselves. If we do not take loving steps to nurture our minds and bodies then we have less to give to others. Thankfully, loving our selfies is easier than many of us make it out to be. The first step is realizing that we have a choice as to what we think about ourselves. For many of us, our negative beliefs have been around so long that we have mistaken them as truth. It is time to turn over a new leaf.
Begin today to tell yourself how wonderful you are. The more outlandishly wonderful the things you begin to believe about yourself, the closer you will be getting to the truth. There is no limit to what we can accomplish when we begin by being kind to ourselves. Although many people will tell us otherwise, it is love that unlocks our greatest potential. So go ahead and love your selfie. When you do, it will no longer matter what anyone else thinks.
Edward Biagiotti is the Inclusion Specialist for Culver City Unified School District. For questions, comments, and ideas for future columns, send an email to: EdwardBiagiotti@ccusd.org