Self-Esteem

The Devastating Effect of ĎMinorí Things

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Paul Morrisonís story drove this home for me like no other. He grew up on a farm that had been in his family for generations. His father had been thrust into hard farm work from his childhood and he was determined to treat Paul far more kindly. Not understanding his motives, however, Paul misunderstood, with rather tragic results.

When he was about 12, Paul visited another farm. To his surprise, the farmer told his son, who was even younger (perhaps 10) to get the tractor and equipment and go with Paul to plow the field. Since Paulís father had never asked that of him, he mistakenly concluded that his father had a low opinion of him and must not trust him. One might expect that another farmer trusting him would counteract his fatherís actions but it had no such effect. Such is the power of oneís perception of oneís fatherís attitude.

Later, his father, seeing in Paul creativity and abilities that extended beyond farming, told Paul it was okay if he chose not to stay on the farm. This willingness to break with a long family tradition for the sake of his son would have been a heart-wrenching, loving sacrifice, but Paul again misinterpreted his fatherís love and felt crushed; further damaging his self-esteem.

Paul became an apprentice agricultural mechanic. One day, his boss and a farmer got into a heated argument. Paul stood by, listening. In the midst of this, one of them Ė no doubt because he was already riled Ė suddenly turned on Paul and castigated him for just standing there and not working. This tirade convinced Paul that he must not be good at his job. It did more than hurt him; he kept believing it despite winning an award as a top apprentice.

One tiny misperception that distorts a personís thinking can start a person veering off alarmingly and become stubbornly resistant to realityís facts.

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Source: Focus on the Family (Australia) Broadcast July 14, 2018