To the editor:
Where does true beauty come from? The media would like for us to believe it comes in the form of appearances. Young girls idolize models and actresses while young boys look to professional athletes. There is no room in today’s society to be different in any way. What kind of message are we sending young people? What does this message do to their self-esteem?
It is my belief that we have gotten it all wrong. Instead of conforming to the ideal of true beauty we should support the differences among us. After all, is it not those differences that are in fact what makes each of us beautiful to begin with? A world with only one profession, one gender, or one kind of food would simply not be able to sustain itself. Diversity is what keeps us going, what makes life worth living.
Teach your child to accept the amazing individuality of others around them and gain strength from the knowledge of other cultures, religions, and heritages. Teach them to find empathy for those less fortunate and to never look down upon them unless they are lending a hand to help them up.
Search Institute has added Cultural Competencies to their list of 40 building blocks of healthy development which help young people grow up healthy, caring and responsible. The ability to “really see another person for who they are in their hearts” is a gift you can pass on to your child by the kindness you show others, the acceptance you model in your everyday life for those who have differences, and the words that you choose when describing those differences.
True beauty can be found in each and every individual if we take the time to find it. Look beyond the superficial exterior and teach your child to have the courage to dig deeper, they may be surprised at who they will find behind the mask.
Allison J. Heidorn
Developmental Asset Manager
Aroostook Substance Abuse Prevention
To the editor: