Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Youth and Self Esteem

I have come to realize over my many years of working with youth that a lot of kids have very low self esteem.  It is a little surprising because when I was a teenager I don't remember my friends having low self esteem.  Sure we all have moments of insecurity but nothing like I see these days.

I think a lot of it has to do with the information age that we live in these days.  There are too many opportunities for youth to question how they look or act based on what they see on the internet.  I only had to worry about what was going on in my local community not in Hollywood or the world for that matter.  We didn't really read the paper or listen to public radio so we really didn't get a lot of outside information.  Our world was our friends, our family, our school, and our neighborhood.

Don't get me wrong, I love the internet.  There are so many things that are your finger tips.  There are so many opportunities for people to share life changing experiences, keep in touch with people you might not normally see, and do research on any topic what so ever.  I might of gotten a better grade in AP European History if the internet had been around. 

Of course school and friends play a role in our insecurities.  There are always going to be bullies who hurt kids.  I think the biggest lie in the world is sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.  What a huge lie that is.  Words hurt more than anything!  As an adult words still hurt me.  I can have 30 people tell me I did a great job on something but that one person that comes along and says something negative will ruin it for me.  I will concentrate on that one negative comment and forget all about the great and wonderful things people say.

Youth of today, please hear me when I say that you are beautifully made.  You are made in God's image and that is perfect.  We all have flaws and imperfections but you are the perfect you in this world, and since you are perfect, the world is perfect.  Always be you because there is no one else like you. Do not listen to the mean things people say because most of the time they say things because they are hurting inside themselves or wishing that they were as put together as you are.  Celebrate you when things go well or you do something good.  Invite the light of the world to surround you.  Do not shrink so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  Let your light shine.

You are a child of God, go be the light that this world needs!

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