The Self-Esteem Choice Making Curriculum

The main purpose of this writing is to bring forth the obvious, but not often given conscious consideration, that there is no positive self-esteem curriculum. This writing presents the NEED FOR A SELF-ESTEEM CHOICE MAKING CURRICULUM, basis for such a curriculum and reference to such a curriculum. The further important purpose is to explore A DEFINITION FOR SELF-ESTEEM that is grounded in THE RELATIONSHIP OF SELF-FEELING TO CHOICE MAKING and the RELATIONSHIP OF INDIVIDUAL CHOICES AND A SERIES OF CHOICES TO SELF-ESTEEM.

The DEFINITION OF POSITIVE SELF-ESTEEM INTRODUCED HEREIN IS THE EXPERIENCING BY A HUMAN BEING OF THE REALITY OF BEING IN CONTROL OVER THEIR LIVING. This experience is explored as a product of each choice a human being makes.

The ultimate purpose of this writing is to introduce the SELF-ACTUALIZED CHOICE MAKING PROCESS.  It is the practice of making choices that is recognized to be an internal human processing of observation and consideration of circumstances. We determine this through a conscious inter-active consideration, a choice of acting and because the choice making is an internal human inter-action with circumstances, the choice maker accepts responsibility for the choice.

An additional purpose of this writing, for those who are centered in religious learnings is the congruency of the Self-Actualized choice with the learnings of the major religions, in particular with Jesus’ learning concerning loving others as you love yourself.  Because of the congruency with Jesus’ learnings, it can be submitted that this is a part of a wiping away of Jesus’ tears.

CHOICE MAKING FOR POSITIVE SELF-ESTEEM, FOR CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND FOR CRITICAL THINKING. EXPLANATION OF CURRICULUM

Self-feeling underlies all human choices. The philosopher Baruch Spinoza recognized this reality several hundred years ago in his work titled “Psychology”. This writing provides a pathway for a curriculum that assists in the understanding of the human choice making process and the importance of positive self-esteem in making choices. Most important, it provides a processing for a person to make choices “as if” they are experiencing positive self-esteem.

Positive self-esteem, as will be explored herein, is the necessary catalyst, as well as the most important element to make choices that represent the highest level of well being for an individual and the people and circumstances with whom they are inter-acting. Positive self-esteem, as represented in this curriculum, is a human being experiencing the reality of having control over their own living. This control is represented in a human being’s choices, choice after choice.

A human being having control over their own living is such a primary human Need as to result, with those not meeting the reality of this Need, to their creating through their choices an illusory feeling of control over self. One important example of illusory feeling, not reality, satisfaction of control over living is having a personal, economic, political and/or social position where they can feel “successful”, and/or have “control” over others and/or to create an aura of adulation by others. All of these characteristics are external – outside the individual.

Self-esteem is an internal human inter-active processing. Illusory feeling satisfaction of the primary human Need for an individual to have control over their own living does not represent the general ability for every human being to experience the reality of such control. The idea of exclusivity and/or the need for the expression of superiority to have positive self-esteem is a specious prejudice and the basis for bullying. Attempting to having control over others is an expression of mind Fears, not positive self-esteem.

Other illusory efforts to have control over their own living include cigarette use, drug, alcohol use and eating disorders all of which begin as choices expressing control over living and progress into compulsive behaviors of illusory self-control. Illusory efforts to fill in an internal feeling of emptiness become compulsive efforts.

There is also the illusory expression of self-control that involves human beings seeking membership in a tribe differing from the one, such as their family unit, that they felt was non-protective (lacking in personal strength) to their joining another tribe represented by a street gang, a religious grouping or political grouping. Individual expressions of aggressive behavior such as spousal abuse, managerial abuse, child abuse and acting as a pimp are illusory efforts through oppressive efforts of attempted “control” over others. These actions, in fact, represent their own inner weakness. Such behaviors represent the weakness of lacking positive self-esteem and the substituting of this weakness as a physical or psychological attack on others.

This curriculum includes the learning of several broad components for thinking about achieving choices representative of having a positive self-esteem base. Included in the elucidation and understanding of these components is the understanding that human beings are born without a positive or negative self-feeling. Human self-feeling is learned through “enculturation”.

Enculturation is all of the information supplied implicitly or explicitly to a human mind and the interpretation of that information – from birth through childhood, adolescence and beyond. The fact that the “emotional posture” of a human being is learned means that it is subject to further enculturation allowing for change.

The positive self-feeling components are as follows; 1) that a choice should represent the highest level of achieving long-term satisfactions, including the unique human understanding that the ethics, morality and empathy expressions are essential to the processing; (2) that the choice has both an effective, as well as efficient outcome, not looking to killing the Golden Goose laying the eggs; and (3) that it expresses a mutuality of respect for others meeting their Need to be in control over their own living.

A human emotional posture can be viewed as having two extremes, with most human beings from circumstance to circumstance having some variance along the emotional posture path. It is for this reason that Jesus cautions, “he who is without sin, should throw the first stone”.  Sin is defined during the Middle- Ages as being missing the mark.

At one end of the emotional spectrum we have a social Fear instinct (impulse). These impulses; such as angering, jealousy, prejudicing and bullying are obstructions to positive self-esteem choice making because they direct choice making to something outside of the choice maker.  The choice maker allows such obstructions to deny them control over their own living. Such obstructions can have the illusory effect, such as the feelings expressed in angering, of giving an immediate short-term illusory feeling of self-control. They really give control to circumstances outside of the individual or group.

At the other end of the human emotional spectrum is what others and we have designated as “Love”. This Love designation is a social oriented idea of love. Jesus’ learnings include the idea that each human being should love others as they love themselves. It is an expression of humanity at its highest level. It is what is seen when human beings help each other through natural events such as storms and earthquakes and when harm is intent toward another. Self-Love is not the selfish connotation of loving self. It is an internal self-appreciation that holds respect for others meeting their Need to have control over and unnatural use of high-powered automatic firearms.

A high level of positive self-feeling, or self-love, totally inhibits any conscious harm to others. Interestingly enough, those lacking positive self-feeling are naturally, in their illusory effort to have control over their own living, self-centered. They are often Fear directed to a “first me” living philosophy and assume that those not so directed are foolish.

When in a Love emotional posture, the individual’s inner strength can often be felt by those inter-acting with them. A manager having positive self-esteem works with an employee to learn their job function rather than micro manage and express angering for mistakes. A husband and wife acting with positive self-esteem will look into the needs of each other rather than just their own individual personal needs. A parent operating with positive self-esteem looks to the child’s needs rather than trying to satisfy their own through the child.  Parents and teachers main obligation is to have a child making choices as they approach adulthood that represent self-actualization.

A person operating under a positive self-esteem emotional posture recognizes their own capabilities and learnings, while also recognizing their need to supplement and complement their deficiencies through cooperative behaviors with others. A person while having a positive self-esteem understands their mortality and its implications. They lack the impulse to blame, withhold expression of self-responsibility or fabricate an untrue reality, recognizing these as not being helpful.

The human Need to have control over ones own living arises out of the unique human quality of a reflective consciousness (self-awareness), thinking about self. It is the human reflective consciousness that requires human beings to define themselves to themselves. Two additional challenges of the human reflective consciousness are inter-actions with others and with externalities. Connected with the human reflective consciousness is human meta-cognition, an internal self-communication system.

Human meta-cognition – self-communication – is an important factor in a human being framing their self-feeling. Children are often not told that meta-cognition is universal to humanity. It is also of interest that many human beings are often enculturated to experience meta-cognition that reflects a negative self-feeling. As a part of the Self-Actualizing Choice Making curriculum, meta-cognition is explored and there are exercises directed at causing meta-cognition to be a tool for positive self-feeling.

The self-esteem (self-empowering) curriculum herein submitted provides a choice making pathway without dictating choice. The curriculum allows for each person’s flowering of their own unique personality. The curriculum assists in critical thinking, improved living performance and an improved sense of well-being.

The unique human reflective consciousness capability can be attributed to evolution by folks believing in that development of humanity. It is also an idea developed in the Old Testament in Genesis, with the ouster of humanity from the Garden of Eden. After eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, Adam hides himself from God because of the realization of his nakedness. Religious scholars have emphasized the nakedness as a “shame” issue. However, the recognition of nakedness can also be recognized as humanity gaining the attribute of self-awareness – a reflective consciousness.

“Self” as defined by the philosopher, Thomas Hobbs, is a searching for something that is within human beings. This definition brings us to the internal stimulus that results in the human Need for control over their living.

The idea of competition has been the illusory path for enculturating children to understand positive self-feeling. The internal stimulus for competition is a game inter-action supplying a brain chemical reaction and resulting electrical charges that encourage continuing excitement feelings. The self-actualization choice making activity is a form of a game. However, it is an internal game that individuals play inside of themselves. The objective of the self-actualization game is to inter-act with externalities through a choice that represents the reality of control over the individual’s own living.  The objective is to then extend this internal game through choice after choice.

Within the self-actualization choice making process, “winning” is something universally available to every human being. Winning is simply making a choice that reflects the reality of being in control over ones own living. Each choice that reflects this winning encourages another choice that equally reflects a piece of positive self-esteem, until a continuous pattern forms. It’s an organic processing akin to an ever-expanding field of grain growing out of its own continuing creating of seeds. It is not dependent on outside adulation, on attempts to control anything external or to conscious harming of anything or anyone. It is not in competition with anything external. In relationships with others it does not seek to control but to effectively influence. It is also rewarding in the feeling of community formed out of the cooperative inter-acting it promotes. It is a win-win approach.

The self-actualization choice making model provides a path for making choices that reflect the highest potential of human choice making. Highest potential means a positive self-esteem emotional posture that reflects the ability to love others as they love themselves. This potential means not proposing syllogisms that have a sense of validity but contain one or more false elements making the syllogism untrue.

Within the self-actualization choice making process there are steps that are learned that allow a human being to make a choice “as if” they are experiencing the reality of having control over their living even though their emotional posture is in a negative posture. This includes those being affected by obstructions such as angering, which are a basis for experiencing illusory choices of control over their own living.

Within the self-actualized curriculum there are a number of defined obstructive emotional behaviors or feelings that come out of a Fear emotional posture. For example, angering is the fear that results from a reality not conforming to a human being’s expectation. This can range from unexpectedly walking into an object and experiencing and pain, to having someone experiencing being passed while driving by another driver on the wrong side, to the failure of someone to follow explicit directions given to them, to experiencing prejudice and so on. By learning the causal relationship between expressing a choice that represents the reality of control over living and the illusory feeling of such control, we have the first step in moving to the making of more choices that represent the reality. For children a stop sign and/or puppets implement the first step.

The self-actualized choice making process does not deny inevitability to angering but provides a learning that allows for a pause to search for a choice that is not driven by the angering. Angering is a reality obstruction because it results in choices having short-term rather than long-term satisfactions, has the potential for harm to others and does not usually offer an effective result, even though there will often be a feeling of immediate satisfaction. In short, angering is a form of fear because of the feeling of loss of control over self or circumstances. It does not express the strength engendered by our general enculturation.

Angering relates to something outside of the choice-maker. The chair that is walked into is outside, the driver passing on the wrong side is outside and the employee not following direction is on the outside. It is also of interest that continuous angering adversely affects the body’s equilibrium and can result in ultimate body malfunction, such as a defective heart condition.

Another example of an obstruction to making an effective choice is prejudice. The usual meaning of the idea of prejudice is a pre-judging – an opinion developed without information. The implication is that once information is supplied there is no longer a prejudice. However, unfortunately the foregoing interpretation is not applicable in the majority of prejudicial experiences. The majority of prejudice expressions are the product of negative self-esteem. The negative self-feeling triggers the need to target a group as being subservient and therefore rightfully the subject of distain. Afro-Americans have in particular been the subject of such distain.

Although slavery in the United States is historical, the absurd Biblical and other justifications for subservience still survive at a certain emotional level. Continued prejudicial behaviors have resulted in a prejudicial self-serving cause and effect justification for continued prejudice. Religious group prejudice has a similar basis. In the case of such prejudice, fear of difference is used as the excuse for the prejudice.

Prejudice is used to form tribal relationships among those needing a sense of belonging that fills their internal lack of positive self-feeling. In youngsters, the seeds of prejudice are often enculturated in a parental influence whether explicit or implicit.

Another illusory path to meeting the Need for individuals to having control over their own living is gang membership. It has the underlying characteristic of group or tribal loyalty and the need to rely on the gang membership for feeling strong as compared to those external to the gang. The illusion of superiority to the need for gang membership is similar to a need for expressing prejudice. The need for a gang is not dissimilar to those who become terrorists.

Other obstructions that are the catalysts and indicative factors for choices that reflect low self-esteem are explored within the curriculum. Explanations for these choices and the weakness, rather than the illusory strength the choice makers would like to portray are helpful in creating the basis for the “as if” choice making process that is made available for learning.

(TO BE CONTINUED IN NEXT BLOG POST)

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