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Friday, July 11, 2014

Boldly Going Nowhere

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Being It

Last year, a school district in California banned the game of tag from grade school playgrounds. They felt that someone had to be "it" and would thereby get their feelings hurt, thus creating victims with low self-esteem.

Whoever made this decision needs to seriously consider a change of occupation to a field that requires few brain cells and is void of decision-making. Perhaps something requiring a shovel and a rake.

Self-esteem is a confidence and satisfaction in oneself. It comes from what we think of ourselves. Basically, you are what you think you are. The higher your self-esteem, the more confidence and satisfaction you possess.

Henry Ford once said, "If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right."

To have high self-esteem, you must realistically accept who and what you are, and have a feeling of worth and competency. You must be capable of meeting life's challenge and believe you're worthy of happiness. People with high self-esteem respect themselves, thereby gaining respect from others.

People with low self-esteem usually withdraw within themselves or try to prove themselves by impressing others. They lack confidence, hence avoid exposing themselves to failure, or become arrogant and egotistical to make up for their shortcomings. They'll often blame others rather than take responsibility for their actions.

According to the National Association for Self-esteem, low self-esteem has been associated with "violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, eating disorders, school dropouts, teenage pregnancy and suicide."

Nothing builds self-esteem like accomplishment. Tag is a sport and virtually all sports are an endeavor in achievement. In sports, as in life, there are winners and losers. The lesson to be learned in any competition is to win with honor and to lose with grace. You give it your best effort and live with the consequences.

A child who feels like a victim in a game of tag is a child who was taught to be a victim by those who raised them. In the game of tag, the child who is "it" is in control of the game. It's highly unlikely a child would develop low self-esteem by being placed in a position of control. But of course, anything is possible in California.

Besides, playing tag is a voluntary activity. If some children don't want to play tag, don't force them to do so. But don't spoil the fun for all the children simply because a few of them can't cope with being "it."

Some signs you may be suffering from low self-esteem are:

* You're not only afraid of heights but are also afraid of widths.

*When the going gets tough, it's time for a vacation.

*Your imaginary friend is smarter and better looking than you.

*Sometimes you stop to think, then forget to start again.

*You consider indecision to be the key to flexibility.

*Your cat loves you, but everyone else thinks you're unworthy.

*If at first you don't succeed, you blame it on the vast right-wing conspiracy.

*You believe that reality is the leading cause of stress.

*When you finally get it all together, you forget where you put it.

*You believe that growing old is inevitable but growing up is optional.

*You always wanted to be a procrastinator but never got around to it.

*You used to be indecisive, but now you're not so sure.

*You don't suffer from low self-esteem -- you enjoy every minute of it.

*You were "it" once playing tag as a child and it ruined your life.

Life is like a game of tag -- sometimes you avoid being tagged and sometimes you're "it." Embrace the experience and move on. In only two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.