“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Boys tend to compete in various forms of sport. When siblings are playing together, by helping each other and enjoying the game, they are developing friendships with their siblings. Without these friendships the connections to siblings may be loose to non-existent. Cheering at games for the child who is the super star is wonderful. If we do not cheer at the games for the child who is the good player, but maybe not the star of the team, shame on us.
Children can improve in their playing skills. They gain more self-confidence with encouragement, which is sometimes all that is needed for them to become a key player. Our support cannot be underestimated. The idea is to zero in on any memorable moment of a game, in which their action made a difference to the team. You can’t fake praise. You can find even a moment when they did shine on their team, and helped their team to score or win. All accomplishments are won with team work. In society as a whole we forget about the menial jobs that added to the winning endeavor.You don’t want to say things like don’t worry, you are good in school and your brother is good in sports. That is a big no. You are again comparing. Just offer a compliment when you can. Look at it as growth along the way. The more you take notice and compare, the more your child develops fear in their lives. How can they become a superstar? How can they be a better student? It doesn’t always happen even with practice. Do we need them to be a superstar? Can we love them and be proud of them because they are who they are?
Parents who are too caught up in a child’s every movement, is likely trying to relive the things they wanted to do, or couldn’t do, when they were a child. Maybe the adult felt inadequate as a child. It is vital to remember that it is not only parents who make children feel deficient. It can be teachers, coaches and any other adult with input about our children. I am not suggesting that we give everyone a trophy or an A+ on their report card, regardless of their ability. I am saying to keep away from using these as measurement tools to define who their child is as a person. Their abilities may be far greater than we can imagine at the present moment.
Instilling in children the desire to flaunt talents, and diminish others, will surely cause grief, jealousy fear and sadness. It is unnecessary. Your child’s ability can be used to help others and will be admired by all. We never want to use judgments, as a way to diminish another.
We don’t measure the human spirit. We don’t understand the true spirit of love, empathy, caring, tolerance, acceptance, patience, honesty, strength and piety to name but a few. Our society in general doesn’t measure these abilities and rarely acknowledges them. If we recognize intrinsic qualities in someone and applaud it, the competition or measurement of it is not required.
Strength of character is shown when one goes against the crowd in voicing an opinion or in refusing to take part in an action that is hurtful. Strength of character is also an old man or woman living alone and facing life everyday with its challenges and fears but facing them just the same. Strength of character is a disabled person or paralyzed person or PTSD recovered person, managing to accept their circumstances and making a life worth living.
Anxiety and jealousy are a few of the chains attached to fear. If we accept our abilities and those of others with happiness and thankfulness, without placing ourselves or others on pedestals, we might rejoice in the strength we gain as a whole. None of us would be able to conceive of anyone’s inferiority, if all of us could simply be ourselves. Everyone can be a hero. Everyone is a hero every day when they face their problems and challenges with kindness and calmness.
Young mothers and fathers get up night after night to deal with a baby or young child. They miss sleep but willingly embrace the needs of their child. Parents go to work day after day and earn money to care for the family. The list continues yet none of us see ourselves as the heroes we are. I’m not suggesting we should get the pat on the back. I’m suggesting we recognize our inner beauty and appreciate our strengths. Then reach for higher goals and allow fears to blow away, as we strive to become worthier people.
We should all feel accomplished and loved and respected. It can feel like a job well done as a team player. After all if the truth be said, games are not ever won by one top player. Games are won through group effort. Leading our children to this conclusion allows them to see the behind the scene importance of all players. If we regard our super star child as more important than our other children, we have made a grave mistake. None of us is better or worse. It is playing the game that counts.
We don’t unite our child with the bad or good thing they might have done. Instead we keep their value as a person separate. The good child did a bad thing. The same is true with good accomplishments such as sports. We praise our child for a job well done on the team. Having a great game does not place them above others. As long as we can keep things in perspective, we won’t have a child with a head too big for their shoulders, nor have a child who wants to run away and hide.
Mostly, what this means is to keep things on an even keel. Remember what the truly essential things in life are all about. It’s more important to keep the love and friendship between the siblings. There are glorious moments in everyone’s life. Many times we miss them, because in the human measurement, they don’t seem as crucial as the athletic or educational accomplishments. If you hear of your child stopping everything they are doing to come to the aid of a neighbor, remember to cheer for them as hearty as you cheered for any child on a playing field. Honor comes in many forms and in a variety of ways.
“Who sows virtue reaps honor.” Leonardo da Vinci
“Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the people the same happiness.” Khalil Gibran
“If the grandfather of the grandfather of Jesus had known what was hidden within him, he would have stood humble and awe-struck before his soul.” Khalil Gibran
“Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.” Ralph Waldo Emerson