A few years ago I read in a book a description of a young man who finally saw himself as “a gift worth wrapping.”
This young man’s life had been full of heartbreak and loss, with not much positive feedback about his strengths. His weaknesses, and there were many, were harped on by his guardians, his teachers, his siblings.
What happened that this fourteen-year old decided he was “a gift worth wrapping?”
On the bus coming back from school he saw a man wearing a t-shirt that read, “God doesn’t make junk.”
The thought stayed in his mind, and churned and spun around for weeks. One morning while shaving his peach fuzz, he looked himself in the eye and saw the truth come through the universe. Yes, indeed, the saying that had been tumbled around in his brain focused out clearly in his gaze. He wasn’t junk. He was made for a purpose. He just needed to find that purpose.
At this point he might have wanted some career advice, but he knew his next step was simple. He needed to “present” himself better. He needed to show others that he was full of potential and possibility, undeveloped but ready to be nurtured and developed. He was something worth growing, he now realized. His seeds of greatness were there, ready for him to water and cultivate and let blossom into something wonderful, a unique human being.
This young man, let’s call him Jack, took action on his belief in his potential. Jack had poor reading and math skills, and he searched out the smartest guy in his school to tutor him on reading in exchange for teaching his tutor how to tune his car engine. One of Jack’s strengths was his mechanical ability. Jack asked the advice of a college-girl at his church about what guys who went to college looked like. How should he wear his hair? What clothes should he wear? How should he talk? What books should he read? What courses should he take in high school?
When he heard disparaging remarks about his shortcomings, he just smiled with an inner knowing that he was something worth growing.
In a matter of a few months his grades went from D’s to B’s and a few months later he was making A’s and B’s. The boy, who was called dumber than a box of rocks, went to college on a scholarship.
I can’t tell you if Jack became someone you might read about in the papers. Jack’s story ended and began with his transformation in believing about his own potential.
What Jack learned was that to grow you must value yourself.
If you place little value in yourself, the world agrees. And when you see yourself as being valuable, the world also approves. When you value yourself and your potential to grow, opportunities present themselves.
Our children need our assistance to help them see their value. We need to help add value to their lives. Each of us is someone worth growing with our gifts to the world waiting to bloom and produce the fruits of our labors.