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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Moment of Silence

I was teaching today. There was a moment of silence. Very rare when you are instructing a 12 year old girl. She was engrossed  in her work. All of a sudden, she lifted her lovely face from her canvas and shared something with me. "Sometimes I get a funny feeling in my stomach, sort of like I don't feel well."  I knew from this one statement, that it was not a physiological cause.  Perhaps my years when I was young and felt this same  feeling gave me an inkling of what was to come. It was a self esteem issue for sure. I asked this talented and beautiful girl to elaborate on her feelings. Being 12, it is more difficult to put this into words. Ahh, but I was wrong. The simplicity in her explanation was just right. "I never feel like I dress right and I don't look that great."  Here I am, thinking that I am encouraging self esteem, teaching them to express themselves, sharing with the world their thoughts, their feelings, the colour they have within them. I won't go into the details of the rest of our conversation, however it was one of ego boosting and letting her know that she was amazing. The thing that made me the saddest, was that I could tell by the look in her eyes, it was falling upon deaf ears. What have we done as a society to allow our  precious children to feel so inadequate? (it certainly isn't her parents as they are stellar). Although I may only be able to put a tiny dent in this situation, I promise to do my best to positively influence every single child that I teach or come in contact with.  I will from now on, instead of asking what do you want to do when you grow up, ask what do you want to be like when you grow up? At least that will keep the conversation going...

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