There was a quote in the movie, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower that disturbs me. It went: “Why do nice people choose the wrong people to date? Because they accept only the love they think they deserve.”
Isn’t that the saddest statement you’re ever heard? I guess it’s one thing to hear it, but it’s quite another to believe it. “. . . only the love they think they deserve.” How does one acquire that belief, that mindset? How does that even enter into one’s thinking?
I know high school is tough, but it can also be a good time in one’s life too. We’ve all heard stories of bullies and bullying, of “mean girls”, of not being accepted into this group or that group, of being alone. But I’ve witnessed kids growing up and taking life by the throat and throttling it, making their life their own. I believe that for many kids, even the majority of kids, life in high school is good. It’s not necessarily easy, but it’s good.
If that is the case, how is it that one accepts “only the love they think they deserve”? How is this even possible?
Leo Buscaglia wrote, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Simple, everyday things one can do for someone else. The opportunities are boundless, endless. Each day. Every day.
That’s a powerful statement, a challenge for adults who are around kids. It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent, a teacher, a counselor, a coach, a next door neighbor. From whom else will a child learn that they are loveable? From whom else will a child learn that they are deserving of all of the love and kindness possible that this world has to give? From whom else will a child learn that they are unique, a gift to this world and all who are in it? From whom else will a child learn that there is “specialness” about them that only they can give to this world, and that without them, this world would be less? Yet, there are times when the opportunities for these actions, kind words, gestures exist and we squander them. Too busy. Distracted. Worried about our own lives.
As a counselor, I’ve dealt all too often with child abuse, with kids attempting suicide and with kids who commit suicide. Somehow, someway, this has to change. Kids shouldn’t take their own life before it even has a chance, an opportunity to begin. The thought should never enter their mind. Not for one minute, not for one second.
There is beauty in each child. Yes, even the most difficult child. There is something to be loved about each child, that uniqueness, that specialness. It is up to each of us to convey that loveableness, that specialness, that uniqueness to each and every child. That way, when a child forms the belief that they can accept “only the love they think they deserve”, it will be the belief that they deserve all of the love that is possible for someone to give and then some. And more importantly, we break the cycle. When those children grow into adulthood and have children of their own . . . and on . . . and on. Something to think about . . .