Lesson 37: Valuing Yourself

A colleague whispered to me, “I heard you were in the school race yesterday.”
I nodded and smiled. I hadn’t come in first, but I was proud of my efforts.
Her mouth twisted into a sneer. “So how did you do?
Did you actually manage to finish the race?”
Sarcasm laced her voice. My cheeks turned red as I stared at her in shock.
I knew what she referred to – it was my weight.
I was chubby, but I enjoyed running.
She obviously didn’t think I could run three kilometres.
“Of course I finished the race,” I said softly.
I swallowed several times and pushed back my tears.
Why was she humiliating me?
A wave of shame washed over me at that moment.
I felt ashamed of my body and ashamed that I’d attempted the race.
Many days later, I listened to a talk on the topic of forgiveness.
It said, “Forgiveness releases you from bitterness and helps you to move on with your life. It brings freedom.”

“I choose to forgive her,” I whispered in the silence of my bedroom.
After I made my choice to forgive, I began to collect affirming words.
Whenever a friend, teacher or family member would say something positive to me, I would scribble it down on a piece of paper, so that I would never forget what they had said.
Soon I had a big collection of these notes and affirmations.
I put all these encouraging words inside an old box.

Now, on days when discouragement comes knocking, I pull out these words and remind myself that, yes, I am valued.

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

A) Vocabulary: Please make you own sentences with the following words:

Sneer – an unkind smile, tone or remark
Sarcasm – an unkind remark causing pain
Lace – (as a verb)to mix with
Chubby – plump
Humiliate – to make someone feel ashamed
Bitterness – anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly
Affirming – words that are true, positive, or in agreement

B) Discussion Points:

  1. It is important to value yourself, and to value others too.
    What is it that you like best about yourself?
    What do you like least about yourself?
  2. Describe a situation when you have helped someone feel better about themselves.
  3. Discuss the concept ‘self-worth, or ‘self-respect.’
    For instance, self-worth does not depend on looks.
    What does it depend on?

C) Please give the opposites of the following:

Superior –
Encouragement –
Respect –
Worthy –
Positive –

D)  Poem:

“Today I will have courage
To do one thing that is new
I will be kind to another
And to myself be true,
Today I will remember
The blessings that are mine
I’ll live the day with confidence
And for me the sun will shine”