“This frustrated writer …” and Other Pernicious Labels

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[WIP bin item]

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Stephen Covey wrote about ‘The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy’ among the topics he discussed about the ‘7 Habits for Highly Effective People.’ Basically the prophecy is a neutral tool that can be used either for ‘good’ or for ‘evil’.

Example, we see the strength in another and publicly call attention to this admirable trait. This act reinforces the ‘good’ that we saw in the other person, with others being witnesses to the ‘fact’. Likewise with others’ failings or shortcomings. The more we publicly call attention to the failings of others, the more we degrade their worth in their own and others’ point of view. Resulting in none other than a lowered self-esteem, level * in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

The opposite of which is boosting another’s self-esteem, which sets the other free of his lower hierarchical need and thus better positioned to pursue self-actualization, which can be taken as being able to connect more to one’s spiritual calling or life mission.

As children with pliant minds, we are defenseless against the ‘force’ of a self-fulfilling prophecy. E.g., ‘he has always been a slower learner,’ ‘she has always had difficulties with math,’, ‘she has always had a good singing voice,’ ‘he has always enjoyed tinkering quietly with mechanical toys,’ etc., etc., etc.

As parents we need to guard against making conclusions and inculcating children’s tender minds with limiting labels and beliefs. As their ‘trustworthy’ caregiver, we should always try to see their strengths, and similar to doing a SWOT analysis at work, and provide opportunities for helping them catch up on areas where they may be lagging behind. Multiple intelligence has become the buzz word in the education academe for decades now and that is not without valid reason. Technological developments and information explosion being the reality of this generation, the child will need to learn to adapt to whatever the future environment will require of him or her.

Limiting labels or beliefs are pernicious because their effect, unlike physical abuse, cannot be recorded through empirical measurement. And can be untraceable until the child has grown up to be an adult and developed his/her own inner vision. Taken to the extreme, the adult may never have grown from having a stunted vision from his/her childhood. He/she may not have actualized to his/her potential of making his/her unique contribution to oneself, others and the world. He/she may end up wasted in other words, not having fulfilled the life mission he/she incarnated an earth life for.

Since it is at the soul level that an individual is affected by such pernicious remarks, the author of the remarks incurs a karmic debt that need to be repaid at some point in time.

Grown up as adults, we need to be discerning of information that bombard our unwitting ears. One may realize it is indeed important to guard your space attentively aka ‘birds of the same feather flock together.’ Stay away from toxic mass media, people, e.g. pessimists and critics, whom you may need to automatically, as an ego defense mechanism, arouse anger or hatred in your little self. If the perspective of the objective observer can be used in mindfully going about, even amidst the company of negative people, ‘negative’ words and experiences can be used as an experience to obtain the spiritual lesson of the moment. (As mentioned in previous hubs/articles, there is nothing ‘good’ or ‘bad’ per se.) Since even tempered steal can break, it may be best to avoid ‘temptations’ or negative situations as much as we can become aware ahead of time regarding them in our own consciousness.

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In line with being true to what I write, I took down the previous About the Author that said “This frustrated writer …” and replaced it with the one you now see, about my hubs being a glimpse into my own soul.

"Every artist dips his brush into his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures." - Henry Ward Beecher, 1813-1887, Writer, Speaker and Reformer,

Which is more in line with what ‘About the Author’ should reflect.

“Frustrated writer,” I realize is really not what I am because writing is really something I find true joy in and hope that whatever I write overflows with that kind of joy, the way I aim for with respect to every other possible tasks my conscious attention focuses on.

Feeding the dogs, can be a joy. Brushing one’s teeth can be a French kiss, and so on and so forth.

Being true to oneself …

That is the ultimate JOY!

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Comments 2 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

I think my mom thought it was kind to let me know that I was not good at certain things and therefor limit my frustrations in struggle. Interesting notion. I wonder how it came to be that my children are great at all things in their own way. This is a wonderful area to bring awareness to.


Quirinus profile image

Quirinus 16 months ago from Sitting on the Rug Author

I'm guessing that, when led gently by a "leader" who knows first of to follow (i.e., sensitive to the learner's need), the transfer of information, e.g. from the parent to the child automatically becomes a gentle, loving one. It is when something is imposed upon us that we end up resenting being taught or talked down on.

I have a feeling it would be helpful for parents and mentors to consider the project based learning (PBL, if I remember correctly) rationale, even early on in the child's life. ... to give us a better understanding of our children's hopes and dreams, and help them towards becoming the person that they dream to be someday, including teaming up with them in getting to that goal.

Thank you for sharing insightful observations, Eric.

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