Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I have learned something very important in my job as a psychotherapist.  I have learned it most from the children I treat, but it's true for adults too.

We don't need the whole world to care about us, to like us, to admire or need us.

What we need most is  just ONE person who believes in us and just ONE asset that makes us stand out a little from the rest of the crowd

One person: could be a parent or a teacher or a counselor or an uncle or a neighbor or a boss.

One asset: could be coloring, singing, writing, building, cooking, sports, gardening, long division, miniature golf.

This is how self esteem takes root.

I work with some very poor kids who attend some very poor schools. Some have present parents and some don't. In a way I am advocating the principle of the high school football captain: he has status among his peers just because of that one asset. 

If we--you, me, our communities and countries--can look at success through this simple lens, I am convinced we would all be healthier for it.

Believe in someone. Help her/him feel good about something unique to them. One asset. 

You may or may not be around to witness the bounty of your gift to that person, but I am pretty sure he or she will never forget. 

It's a simple approach, really. It might just be getting a passing grade in a history class. And since I've figured it out, I've become a much better therapist and a much smarter gift giver.

Love
kj

29 comments:

  1. YES!! That is so true. Recognition goes a long in in helping people feel good about themselves.

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    1. Yes! But not just recognition. I think that one asset is needed too. Something a person can feel good about and aspire to /-)

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  2. I couldn't agree with this more if it was engraved inside of me KJ. I know that one person can make a huge difference to a kid/kidult/adult/anyone who feels a bit lost in the world. For me personally this is the essence of kindness - to shine a light on the positives for someone who is looking at the darkness and feeling overwhelmed by it. I think we all have our role to play in this.

    I read back on your post about visiting your old work place. How cool was that? To see and smile with people who not only remember you but remember how you shaped things for them and around them. You are way cool KJ, so there. Big hug xx Jos

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    1. Jos, I am 'lending' my canon powershot to my 5 year old mr Ryan and telling him how great his photos are: hopefully an asset! I also remind him that he and I are poets. And his parents enrolled him karate.

      Assets. :-)

      Love you jos!

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  3. Truer words were never spoken by Einstein and/or YOU!
    In my practice I teach the use of Positive Affirmations so clients (young and old) can change their negative thinking patterns to positive ones, especially about themselves. When we feel good about ourselves we have so much more to offer the world around us.
    (including our children, grandchildren, friends, family, co-workers, community, etc.) I love how we give each other kudos in blog land. I see how it grows my self esteem as an artist and that of other artists I have met on line. That kind word can mean so much to so many and make such a difference in a life for a lifetime~

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    1. Yes Lynn: we are a mutual admiration society and with good reason!

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  4. You won't get an argument from me on this one.

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    1. Oooooooh, consensus, snow!

      Love
      kj

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  5. Yes yes yes! And as you said, "You may or may not be around to witness the bounty of your gift to that person, but I am pretty sure he or she will never forget." Just do it. Do it because it's always the right thing to do.
    Love love,
    xoxoxo

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    1. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
      ~ Aesop
      ♥♥♥

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    2. You are a gem, my twinkly twin

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  6. Kj, Very wise. I learned this when I was young and have seen that all most people need is a little love to grow.Happy week.xoxo

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    1. How wonderful that you learned this as a child, Annie. I kind of did too...

      xoxo

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  7. thoughtful and wise as others have said. the einstein quote is fab. sometimes i think I judge myself in that way. the things i cant do vs the things i can.

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    1. Suki, I'm done judging myself. Done! It doesn't help me. Not to say I don't wish and dream :-)

      Love
      kj

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  8. Joining in with everyone as I echo "Yes, yes, YES"! Positiveness, encouragement, love - these are tools to help a person grow and believe in themselves! We ALL need this - at different times in our lives...sometimes many different stages of life....but, I feel it truly helps and even if one doesn't seem the result....one knows that ray of light, of encouragement...helps.

    Love,

    ♥ Robin ♥

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    1. Robin, the support of another and a reason to be proud :-)

      xoxo
      kj

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  9. I always say, all you need is one good parent. Or one good parent figure, even. Just someone in your life who tells you that you are special. For me, that person was my mom. And I will never be able to be grateful enough for all the amazingness she's given me.

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    1. Tracy, yes yes! What a great Mom you have! My mother believed in me too. I hope my Jess feels that way about me.

      Love
      kj

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  10. How could I have gotten so old without ever knowing that Einstein quote???? It's so perfect!

    If it can be said of me that I was a totally loving and loved grannie,,,that will be enough, and I will have left a forever mark on the one who is my light.

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  11. Oh yes babs: I understand completely. For some reason the universe has placed me among several children; some unlike my own family, who need riots and wings. Re my comment to wonderful suki, I'm done judging because I am giving and appreciating as much as I can. As are you.

    xoxo
    kj

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  12. Hahaha, I did not mean riots and wings. I meant roots and wings!

    But an interesting spellcheck: maybe we all need more riots too! Now I wonder how the dictionary defines 'riot'. :-)

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  13. Brrrrrrrriliant! Yes yes yes. I agree with my entire little heart which grew ten sizes when I fell in love with Montessori Principles. I have not heard that Einstein quote. But I did hear that he possibly had Asperger's syndrome. **happy smiles** Deb

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  14. Wow KJ, how true this is!!!!
    And I love that quote!!!
    Very important for kids and for grown up as well......
    ♥M

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  15. Kj, i have to say that I for one am glad you are a friend! For a therapist you are very approachable and open! You are a genuinely good person! :-)

    Wander

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  16. And in fact, the research of resiliency in children shows that even one stable, sane adult in a child's life makes a huge difference.

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  17. kj,
    I agree with you in this. In my work as a daycare worker, for 26 years, with small children, I have seen the how one person can make a difference to a child in a positive way.
    I am beginning a new job this week in a good daycare center, and reading this today has been encouraging, and given me an eagerness to start the work, and meet my new kids.
    Thanks for this post.
    Brenda

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