Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news.” This was a statement uttered by a young girl who has gone thru horrifying circumstances during the Holocaust. Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl, had to live most of her life in hiding because of the Nazi occupation in her home country, Germany. She was finally placed in a concentration camp with her sister. They were treated like animals in the camp – they had to strip naked for disinfection, their head shaved and had to be tattooed with a number in their arms for identification. Anne finally died of typhus epidemic in the camp.
Most people in this young girl’s situation would have been hopeless and wished to die. Anne, on the other hand, saw beyond the situation. She remained hopeful and full of spirit even if she lived a very miserable life. She always had an “I can” disposition.
In her book, The Seven Basic Psychological Needs, Dr. Honey Carandang mentions the fourth need as the need for a sense of competence. It is knowing deeply that we are good at something and that we have a flame that can light the world.
In a study made among happy and successful people who were asked how they “made it”, two factors come into play that contributed to their success and contentment:
They experienced a sense of competence. They knew what they were good at.
They met an inspirational person at some point in their lives – someone who believed in them and recognized their worth.
It is not about having the best of everything. I have known of a lot of people who have almost if not everything that they need yet they live sad lives because that have never felt a sense of competence. Everything was offered on silver platters that they never had to exert any effort at all. On the other hand, some people have little or nothing in life, yet they rise to become the best in their field because they believe they can succeed. They know in their heart that they are good at something and it is that knowledge which will help them reach their dreams.
When I was just starting out as a guidance counselor, I met a wonderful spiritual person who made me see my worth. She walked with me and helped me become the person that I was meant to be. She made me see that I had gifts which I must share so I can change the world in my own little way. She believed in me and because of that countless other people believed in me and saw my worth. From that day on, no matter what I go through and no matter what people say about me, I believe that I know myself better. I have a flame that can light the world. I am because I can. Just like Anne Frank, situations may get the better of us, but deep in our hearts we should know that we have a good heart. Let us not live our life in vain. Be useful and bring enjoyment to all people, even to those we’ve never met. Just like what my spiritual mother always says, “Be Jesus to others!”
Next week, read about why it is important to belong and be connected. Have a fruitful week!