Why Do We Never Tell Children, “You Are Worthy”?

We are quick to compare, we never tell our children, ‘How can you be a better version of yourself?’ We never tell children, 'You are you and that’s where your strength lies. In yourself.'

I have always wanted to be like someone else. I have observed people hero-worshipping. In school, we wrote essays about which famous person we would want to be like and why. What are the qualities we would like to imbibe in us from them?

If there was a school captain I admired, I would try to behave like her.

We all say to our children:

‘Why can’t you be like him or her?’

‘He/she is so studious, focused, disciplined’, the list goes on.

While we are quick to compare, we never tell our children, ‘How can you be a better version of yourself?’ We never tell children you are you and that’s where your strength lies. In yourself.

I always tried to be like someone else until I realized what I needed to be is myself, unapologetically. This is called self-sabotage. You are born with your unique skills and nature. You are supposed to let yourself bloom.

Luckily, destiny gently tugged me towards a career in writing when I had been trying to get into a career in fashion design. I applied to almost all the design institutes. I never made it through the entrance exams, and I cannot be thankful enough because it led me to a career path that was me.

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Do you know why I wanted to get into design?

Why did I want to be like Ritu Beri?

It’s because I adored Ritu Beri. I am creative by nature, and I had thought that I would be like her. How wrong I was. I understand Dalai Lama exactly when he says: ‘Be thankful for unanswered prayers. They are your greatest blessings.’

Sometimes I wonder who I would have been by now if we lived in a society where children were told to hold in honour their uniqueness. Where would I be if I was told you write well, you paint well, you should honour your natural skills and make yourself out of your natural assets?

Would I still be trying to be a weak imitation of Ritu Beri?

Our energy, our soul, comes with its signature. Our job is to let that signature, let that uniqueness out. We should be the vehicle that does our soul’s work. Children know that intuitively. Have you observed children? They are so immersed in their activities, and they would do that every day. Some paint, others build blocks, and there are still others who love science experiments.

They continue to do so until one adult comes along and tells them to focus on their studies alone. Where would these children be if we fanned the flames of their passion? There would be so many Picassos, Jamie Olivers, and Jane Goodalls in the world.

Are we raising future unhappy adults?

I look at children going sleepy-eyed to school, keeping away their passion for when they have free time, and I see myself in them. Each keeping aside their heart and doing what is right. But this is so wrong. This would lead to adults who live unfulfilled lives and adults who do not do what is right for them.

Children who are taught to be like someone else will never understand who they are, what they are made of, and what self-love is. They will never understand they are worth so much more than what people make them out to be.

Have you ever come across women in abusive relationships? Where do they believe their abusers are correct? These are women who were taught to be like that girl who tops the class. She was never taught to embrace herself or her worth.

Every child is unique

If you have a garden and a lot of flowers and trees in it, you will understand that not every flower is the same. Not every flower blooms in the same season. While some flourish in spring and summer, others flourish in autumn and winter. Not every flower is the same. Each one is different, but each blooms in its uniqueness, emanating its soul signature. What remains common is everyone needs love to grow. To become who they are.

In human society, each unique child is placed in a curriculum that might or might not arouse their intellect, natural abilities, or their potential. But they are expected to excel. While some bloom in this environment, some others wither.

I was one of those who withered.

Studying humanities changed my perspective about myself

I was never good at science and mathematics, and always thought I was intellectually not strong enough. It was only when I passed my 10th and moved to a complete humanities background that I realized where my strength was.

The fact that I got my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the two top colleges – Miranda House and Delhi School of Economics — in India proved to me my worth.

When I look back at that young girl holding her report card filled with lots of inferiority complex, I understand how wrong I was. The point is if you don’t let your soul signature run your life, you will never do well. You will be a person who always believes you deserve less.

Truth is, if you let your soul express through you, you will save yourself a lot of struggle. Honour yourself the way you are and see yourself bloom.


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Image source: Screengrab from Piku, edited on CanvaPro

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About the Author

Priyanka Kotoky

A Social Media Content Writer by profession. A writer by heart. A genuine foodie. Simple by nature. Love to read, create paintings and cook. Have impossible dreams. At the moment, engaged in making those dreams read more...

89 Posts | 154,673 Views

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