Tuesday, 24 May 2011

" I have the right to exist"

I have the right to exist - oh yeah!
In these days of exams, assessments, targets, objectives, appraisals and reviews it’s easy to believe that unless we jump through the educational and corporate hoops we’re going to get nowhere in life. The world we have created certainly has no patience for under-performers and anything left over for the high enders has to be fought over.
The ordeals and tests that we are subjected in the name of progress can send us into a frenzy, if not a nervous breakdown. In the past, I have been guilty of placing undue pressure on myself and my loved ones to succeed.  In fact, this week as my second son sits for his GCSE exams I am reminded of how young and tender he is.  It’s easy to forget just how fragile teenage emotions are. I also remembered to tell him that although exams are a necessary evil they are not a reflection of his self-worth. I love my children unconditionally and no worldly success or failure can change that.
By the same token, failure or success does in no way detract from a person’s right to exist. True success is to focus your mental energies on working to your strengths and when that happens….you’ll find yourself doing what you love…and making money at it. The only thing we truly need more of is self-belief, not money. The very first belief that’s vital to cultivate is that you have the right to exist.
During a motivational class the instructor asked each of the participants to stand up in front of the group and say: “I have the right to exist”. Many found it intimidating and clammed up with embarrassment.  The ones who did come forward spoke in a timid voice.  These were a cross section of people of different ages, ethnic groups, professionals and non-professionals. This experiment revealed that our education is not holistic, it is results based.
"The lillies of the field neither spin nor toil or pay a mortgage"
Teachers teach for exams not for the love of teaching or imparting the joy of learning. This creates a culture that allows politicians and the media to sell us fear…..the greatest fear being that we’re not good enough…unless we have….. a partner, children, a mortgage,  energy-efficient home, insurance, car, phones, laptops, blackberry, latest fashions, whitened teeth, coiffed hair, landscaped garden…..we are missing out. We internalise the message that we are not valuable and we start to behave in abusive ways. We eat and drink too much, we boast and compete, we try to make others feel as bad as we do – in short- we sell our souls and become everything that we detest in others.
River of life
Regardless of any trappings of fame and fortune you are worthy and have the right to exist.  “I have the right to exist” – say it loud, say it clear. Practice saying it in the mirror every morning and then go and find your heart’s calling. You were born with a purpose and, if you live on purpose, the perfect job you seek will find you. Don’t fret over this and engage in struggle – don’t push the river – it flows just right without any effort and so do you.

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