My brother is working with children who have troubled lives for one reason or another. Many from families who are living in poverty as you may expect but equally from children who have lived privileged backgrounds. They have been given "everything" - well materialistically everything.
Rather than focusing on his line of work I want to mention something that really struck a chord with me personally this past week and I thought back to one of my brothers "techniques" to remind myself of my own value.
As with the children that my brother visits, I personally thrive on "acceptance" and "appreciation". I am driven by making people happy in my adult life as children may do to gain acceptance in their own world. With children however they do not have the foresight or life experience to understand that if they don't get that acceptance or gratitude - if they don't get the praise and appreciation for their efforts - that doesn't make them worthless. Their value is true to them and very very real.
Inner peace and strength comes from knowing that you are being true to yourself and being the best you can be. If nobody else notices or wants to think contrary to your knowledge of who you are then that is "their loss" as the old saying goes.
To demonstrate this philosophy to the children my brother revealed a nice crispy £50 note. The kids eyes opened wide. No doubt they were already looking at this lovely recently printed note and wondering what they would spend it on! At which point he threw began to crumple the note up in his fist. The children looked on with anxiety in fear that something bad was going to happen! Once he had screwed the £50 note up he threw it into the dirt, trod it down, scuffed it up and kicked it into a dirty puddle where it lay floating looking pretty sick and "worthless" you could say. Certainly worthless to anyone who may wonder past. Nobody other than these children would know that this crumpled up, wet, dirty scrap of paper was was actually worth £50.
"So" my brother asked, "What is the £50 worth now?".
The penny began to drop and a discussion was had on understanding their value, believing in their value - even when others around them are questioning it or simply ignoring it.
Our self worth is questioned throughout our lives so don't allow others to undermine your knowledge or your truth of who you are.