My cousin Bryce, who recently celebrated his seventh birthday, had to write a list of "Affirmations" for school. I don't know the specific instructions the teacher gave, but Bryce's mom posted his Affirmations on her Facebook page. I'm reprinting them (unedited) below:
Also I stay away from fires.
I stay away from rocks that make have snakes in them.
I treat others with respect.
I am handsome.
I am a fabulous marvelous great friend.
I am responsible.
I am great at reading and writing.
Also I am very hardworking.
I am good at baseball and basketball.
Reading these brought tears to my eyes as I wondered how my life might have been different if one of my elementary school teachers had encouraged me, through an assignment like this, to think positively about myself. Would I still hear that critical, disparaging voice in my head? Would I still feel that what the world sees of me is nothing but an illusion I've created, and that the "real" me is someone no one could love?
I don't know the answer, of course. But I'm looking forward to checking in with Bryce from time to time. Because I think his teacher has given Bryce--and all of his classmates--a great start. The world may end up being a better place if people feel good about themselves. I don't know Bryce's teacher's name, but whoever you are--blessings.