Thursday, March 08, 2007

Rethinking What We See

Adolescents will often begin to see the things that we identify in them. If we point out a liar, a thief, a failure, or a drain on society, they will tend to follow that lead and begin to believe those things about themselves. On the other hand, if you see an adolescent who has the potential to be an honest person, someone who is capable of being trustworthy, or one who could possibly make a significant contribution to the world—and you tell them about it—they are much more likely to see those good characteristics in themselves. Someone once said that the word potential simply means “they haven’t done it yet.” In a sense, that’s true. That is why it is important to follow the mythical pattern we’ve been examining. A gift or task always follows the affirmation. Give students an opportunity to work out that potential in their own lives. Tremendous things have humble beginnings. It is a reoccurring theme in the cosmos. Remember the Big Bang!

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