No one really teaches a small child to walk. You can only show it how, and perhaps the most you could do would be to hold both its hands above its head as you gently guide him along the path. Encouragement, during those initial steps of learning to walk, might qualify as the closest thing we get to teaching them. But of course, we do not know that. Brought up in a dominant world of how-tos, we were all programmed to spoon-feed. It is always the same, one-two-three, and this is how it should go, you know the drill.
The same could be said when attempting to cultivate confidence in a growing child or in anyone for that matter. One simply cannot just teach it and say ‘be confident’, then expect them to right away grasp the totality of your “lesson”. You may have to take into account so many factors: models such as grownups or icons to look up to, tools like sports or the arts to indulge in, plus other, and lastly, you have the intangibles, like relationships, etc. Needed to get you there.
At the end of the line, gaining that confidence, especially if in an unfriendly atmosphere, can be very daunting indeed, and then more complex than learning to walk.
Furthermore, with just so much room for misinterpretation, trying out the confidence-mask might bring about and create many adverse effects: a certain swagger perhaps, a false air of indifference to hide not being confident as yet, or worse, becoming aloof or totally arrogant to keep everyone at bay.
For one, whenever we compare ourselves to others, we could right away diminish the premium that lies in our uniqueness as individuals. Hardly any confidence can be had from that. The mode of comparison is nothing but a deadly trap, so much like the “keeping up with the Joneses” banner call for the American way of life in the US during the 60s. That was not only market oriented but self deprecating as well because, how can you gain confidence ever, when you are not enough to begin with?
So, how do we try imparting becoming confident in our child? I’d suggest how about we appreciate, then celebrate, what makes us diverse individuals firstly, and then use only our thumbprint uniqueness as the barometer and measure for confidence? Let icons and sports take second. Let them be reinforcements later.
In these times, it becomes doubly relevant that our second line knows this. In all the brewing troubles going on around us, it all just seems so obvious and immature even, that these marks of uniqueness, found in all persons, people or race, are the very tools by which hatred of others, is fanned from.
Could it be that these purveyors of hate purposely intend to hide from us that our diversity is actually our untapped secret and power, the source of all the confidence?