Author Archives: Shanae Branham

Does Doing with the Grading System Save Self-esteem?

When my youngest boy was in fourth grade, our school district decided to do away with the regular grading system for elementary students because they thought it was too hard for children to receive low scores. At the time, I wasn’t able to articulate why I didn’t agree with the decision. Now I realize that it is because the decision was based on the belief that each child has a fragile, prideful personality. My response may sound harsh, but please follow my thinking.

If you believe that your performance determines your value, then your self-esteem is based upon pride. When you believe this way, then you can’t fail without feeling like a failure. This type of thinking means you can’t change. You are what you are, good or bad.

If you believe your performance doesn’t determine your value because you are already valuable, then your self-esteem is based upon humility. Under these circumstances, you can receive a low grade because the grade only reflects your performance at that particular moment. If you want to do better in that area, then all you have to do is figure out what you are doing wrong and change it. The ability to think in this way relies upon humility.

I believe that when we tell our children that they can’t do poorly, then we are telling them that they can’t change. Learning to improve by failing is an important skill successful people possess. Name one person who has ever succeeded at accomplishing something great, and I will show you how they succeeded by humbly using the process of hard work and figuring out what was wrong to make it right.

Humility is a Super Power

Some people think of humility as a character flaw instead of a super power. They believe humble people are weak pushovers. These people live in a world where everyone has to be perfect, where there are no second chances, and the person on top wins. This is because they believe their value stems from beingContinue Reading

Two Sides of a Story

The other day while I was channel surfing during my work out on the Elliptical machine at the sports center, I shifted between two news stations. One was a local station and the other was CNN. On CNN the reporter was interviewing several people to give their view of how Sarah Palin did when sheContinue Reading

More than an Attitude

In my book, DiSemblance, Boston doesn’t define her alcoholic mother as a fool. Instead, she keeps a more compassionate attitude towards her. This attitude enables her to help her mother and then inadvertently help herself (Boston’s perspective): “Mom!” I (Boston) yell, as I open the front door to my house and rush inside. Darting throughContinue Reading

Destroys Compassion

Last week we talked about how when you call someone a fool you devalue them by increasing your sense of self-righteousness. This week I’d like to talk about how increasing your sense of self-righteousness creates an attitude towards the person which destroys the compassion/love you feel for them. How does this work? For example, let’sContinue Reading

Freak Event

Sometimes I see a pattern in someone’s life and I just want to say with all the power I can muster, “Don’t let the experiences you are having right now define your future!” Why would I say this? Because once someone passes judgment on their life based on what they have experienced, then their lifeContinue Reading

Focus Counts

What kind of judgments do you place on the trials that happen in your life? Do you call yourself foolish? Or do you give yourself the room to make mistakes? Please beware of the dangerous fact that the negative judgments you place on yourself can actually bring on more negative trials. Let me give youContinue Reading

Self-righteous Attitude

I believe when we call someone a fool, we are not only placing a negative judgment upon that person, but we are also rejecting the differences between us and them. This type of statement places us in a self-righteous attitude which seems to increase our self-worth by diminishing theirs. This goes against what Jesus ChristContinue Reading

She Didn’t

If you make a judgment that someone or something is “foolish” when something doesn’t go your way in a relationship, you can create trouble. I know someone who has a daughter that was preparing for her senior prom. This girl had planned every detail of this special event. The only problem was that one ofContinue Reading

Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Because of the principle of self-fulfilling prophecy, the judgments we make in our lives will have great power for good or evil. A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, or due to positive interaction between belief and behavior. What this means is thatContinue Reading