My Best Day
All the world loves a winner. Everyone likes to applaud and ascribe honor to the one who has made it. Much more so when the odds to win the prize had been formidable. That’s why winners we all want to become, regardless of our age and station in life. Winning exults and makes us feel good, great and grand. And that winning streak is infectious. It inspires and motivates more people to try harder because someone had done it before-and won. But the sure one mark of a champion is a strong, solid sense of self-esteem.
I consider it my best day when I met Rick (not his real name). Rick is only ten. He has that winsome, unspoilt smile. He seemed shy at the start. He was standing outside our gate, calling out if anybody was home. I pulled the gate open to answer his call. My friendship with Rick became one of the best things that happened to me. Rick came to ask if there was any errand I would want him to do for few things he can ask in exchange. He said he just wanted to have new shoes. His family lived somewhere in the locality and they were obviously poor. What cemented our friendship was Rick’s honesty, his sense of humor and his love for his mother and sister. I guess it was also that I wanted what he has. They were renting one of those run-down apartments. His mom has been working in the local laundry company. I enjoyed Rick’s companionship especially that despite his poverty there was no trace at all of a low self-esteem. Rick seemed wealthy. I decided to see his mom and see what kind of family they have. I will never forget that particular day when we sat down in a local diner as I bought the four of us couple of burgers and shakes. Rick’s mother has that same smile, and the honest demeanor. They all looked serene and contented. I thought they seemed out of this place.
It’s in the home where everyone gets his fill of self-worth, because if we don’t get it here, we may never have it. Charles R. Swindoll in his book, Growing Wise in Family Life (p.66, 1988), suggests two actions for parents to enhance the development of self-esteem in their children: “nourish” and “cherish.” Nourish has the idea of feeding, caring for, and drawing out the child. Cherish means to treat the child with tenderness, holding him close to keep him warm. Parents then who want to enhance their child’s self-esteem will have to “draw out” and ‘warm” this child’s inherent capabilities.
Nobody, however, can always be on top of the world everyday of the year. There can be days of defeat, maybe finding ourselves in no-win situations. That is why we need all the support and encouragement we can get from those close to us – parents, spouse, sweetheart, friends, brothers and sisters – to carry us through the dark days when we’re down and out. And we ought to give them in return the support and affirmation that they need even in the best of times.
And while we can, we all need to learn to cherish and treasure our moments of triumph, those times when we become winners enough to win others’ accolade and praises, because they may be few and far between.
I believe Rick’s home life has those essential ingredients. He enjoys what many wealthier and more educated children never have. It is still true that money can’t buy everything. There are more to this life than any material possession anyone can have. I walked out of that diner that day feeling gifted with Rick’s friendship and the example his mother demonstrated of a home that can be enjoyed inspite of the lack.
A time will come when I will be able to see myself having what Rick has. I wish to be content and enjoy whatever I have with me. I wish to enjoy the people around me and nourish and cherish them too. To see in my loved ones the pure and simple joy of my presence and my love for them. I want them to feel secure and make them sure winners already in the midst of a very confusing and at times terrifying world.
1. Swindoll, Charles R. 1988, Growing Wise Family Life. Multnomah Press, Portland Oregon: p66).