Self-worth ... how can you teach this?
So many ills of society, and thus the tribulation of individuals, seems to come from what we value. Not money, nor property or possessions; rather how we feel about ourselves. The child who bullies others, someone who falls in with gangs and drugs, the person who considers ending it all - it seems to me all these stem from a need to belong, to be given value, to be made to feel worthy.
Perhaps we take this for granted. Those of us with successful, comfortable lives surrounded by caring and loving people perhaps take it all for granted. It's only when we see those without, those for whom self-worth is a shadow, that we can be moved, both in sentiment and in action.
It can be dressed up as confidence, sometimes as self-belief, perhaps looking like determination and drive. But self-worth is deeper than all of these. It is the solid and crucial belief that you, as a person, should be here, in your place, are worthy of being loved, and that what you do and say is important and has significance.
How can you teach this?
Only through experiencing kindness, care, thoughtfulness, human connection and love can we grow to understand our intrinsic worth and how we fit in. Then we can go on to show these characteristics to others.
If I was asked to fix the problems of the world, I would put a lot of effort into improving self-worth of young people. It's not an easy job, of course, but you can start by trying to make a difference within your family, then your place of work, then the wider community.
It's also a challenge here at Pilgrims', but with caring parents and staff, little by little, day by day, we work at it. Just remember - kindness, care, thoughtfulness, human connection and love.
Mr Matt Shroff
Director of Wellbeing