A recent college graduate was teaching third graders in a school in Baltimore, Maryland. It was a tough school and the teacher realized what a challenging life many of her students experienced. One class period she told her students, “we’re not going to do the math assignment today. Instead, I want everyone to draw a picture of their biggest dreams.” The young teacher passed out crayons and sheets of paper and each child started drawing what they wanted to be when they grew up. As the rest of the class was drawing, there was one young boy sitting in the corner doing nothing, with a blank and distant expression on his face. Thirty minutes passed and the young boy had not picked up a crayon. Then, unexpectedly, his eyes lit up and he finally started to draw.
When the class was over, the students handed in their drawings on their way out. The teacher looked over the drawing of the young boy and realized he had drawn a pizza deliveryman. She called the young boy’s mother with concern, though the mother was not surprised. The boy’s mom explained to the teacher that the only man in her son’s life who was not on drugs or in jail was his uncle. His uncle just happened to deliver pizzas.
An important takeaway from that story is that how we identify ourselves is a pivotal determinant for how our life unfolds. Like that young boy, the messages we hear help shape our self-concept and the direction of our life. People, whether they are young students or adults, will always look up and reach for the highest branch they see as attainable.
Ideally, we want to have an environment in which we are able to see the highest vision as a basis for our future. As we approach Christmas, it behooves us to remember our true identity described by Jesus the Christ: we are the light that lights up every man and woman that comes into the world. The light represents the unlimited possibilities that are inherent in all of us. As that light, we want to see and identify with the highest vision we can imagine.
It is important to remember we cannot go beyond the image we have of ourselves. No matter what we say we want, if we do not see ourselves as deserving of all the good the universe has to offer, we will either not be successful or, if you do manage to reach a level of success, it will not be sustained. Transforming our self-concept is integral to liberating ourselves from the conditions we don't like and to fulfilling the dreams we would like to see achieved in our lives.
As we celebrate Christmas, let our real identity that “we are the light” be embedded in our minds and hearts. When we do, not only does each of us live out a life aligned with our highest and best selves, we will help usher in the same for our world.
Peace and Blessings,