Have you heard the line “What we are is God’s gift to us, what we become is our gift to God”? Our physical being, life itself, is an accepted belief of many as coming from God Almighty. What a person does to his life is the greatest challenge he faces if he were to give back with gratitude and appreciation for this most precious gift.
The world is made up of various kinds of people, differing in physical characteristics as well as emotional traits. Though coming from the same family, siblings may vary in their responses to situations, problems, and challenges of daily living. Learning starts early in life and the family, concerned parents in particular, should give proper and valuable guidance to the growing kids. It is an observation that very young children may rebel, especially when not given what they want, or may just cry and sulk in one corner. It is naturally incumbent upon parents to allow space for understanding and growth besides love for them. As they become older, their moral values start to take form. When the children are taught to communicate and trust, they learn to be open and this gives parents the opportunity to observe their traits, strengths, and weaknesses. The children may learn to be obedient and trusting of them. This may, as they grow, further lead to seeking their parents’ approval of any actions they feel are important. This could be a stepping point for parents to gradually introduce to the children recognition of their strong points, their own capacities, and talents that they may cultivate. Coupled with teachings on how to reach out to other people to help or to serve using their God-given talents or gifts, they may imbibe this positivity as they mature, and act on what is for the greater good without fear of negative feedback or disapproval from certain individuals.
In the same vein, a young adult should also learn to develop a good regard of himself, that is, a positive view of his person. Loving one’s self, not hedonistic inclination, can be an indication of self-esteem. How a person regards himself and what others (parents, siblings, friends and the like) think of him can affect a person’s self-esteem. It is important foremost for parents to give support to their children’s achievements for example, that they may gain confidence, and eventually may learn to appreciate others. Approval gives a person a positive outlook of himself.
Living life may be smooth or rough sailing. Tough issues may be encountered in vital aspects like child rearing or relationship enrichment. When there are frustrations and disappointments that come along the way, it is best that one does not wallow in self-pity. Rather, a person should strive to talk it out or be open to family or a close friend. In relationships, an individual may not fully open because of fear of rejection after the other person would know his real self. Embarrassment, disapproval, and shame can cause one to retreat. Besides family, a confidant can help the person in such state. Although it takes time for a good relationship to develop, it is still rewarding in the end.
While people, in general, may want the good opinion of others, such desire is still natural and serves to reinforce their self-esteem. Yet, it would also be unhealthy if one just waits and focuses on the positive opinion of others. This attitude slows down his growth and delays action.
What is important is the realization that one’s gratitude should be foremost to God who gifted all with a wholeness of mind and body. The need to please or seek others’ approval becomes only secondary, a minor appendage in living day to day. God should be at the forefront when seeking grace, where one’s desire to attain a fuller life should extend to contributing to others’ welfare. With solid sources to increase one’s strength, i.e. family solidarity, dedication of those attending to others’ needs, and God’s compassion, there may be no need at all to wait for a favorable opinion of others to continue one’s response to be of service, making use of God’s given talents.

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