Father Lance W. Harlow
Mirror, mirror on the wall...
I recently had to paint a self-portrait along with some other teacher colleagues for an art project on behalf of our school. It was an extremely humbling experience to gaze at my face in a mirror trying to reproduce what I look like as realistically as possible. Sometimes realism is unnerving! One cannot help but scrutinize every imperfection and flaw with one's face, eyes, hair, skin, etc. There is a strong disconnect between what we look like to others and how we see ourselves in a mirror. We are full of wishes of wanting to be better looking than we really are-- perhaps in admiration of exceptionally good looking people, notably actors or models. Ironically, the "good looking" people see themselves with the same kind of self-criticism as we do.
While we can't dodge mirrors all of our life, we can dodge the self-criticism that becomes crippling when we spend too much time looking at them and wishing we looked like somebody else.
Children also look at themselves in the mirror with a high degree of criticism as they enter into that very self-conscious age of adolescence. With the accessibility of the digital age, they begin comparing themselves and their bodies to others much more quickly and on a much larger scale than a generation before did when Instagram accounts didn't exist.
Self-esteem does not come from the shape of one's nose, color of one's eyes or lack of pimples. Self-esteem comes from the true reflection of oneself as a child of God whose inherent dignity is the most beautiful aspect of one's personality and personhood.
At the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, faculty and staff strive to inculcate the healthy practice of looking at oneself--not in terms of physical deficiencies or movie star perfection-- but in terms of character. The St. Nicholas Project supports the work of the children's home in their mission to make "beautiful children"; that is, a beauty which refers to their self-esteem, self-confidence, dignity and purpose in life. After all, physical characteristics change with the aging process. That cannot be avoided. But, a beautiful character endures forever.
You donation to the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children helps build a child's self-esteem and helps him or her become a confident and healthy young adult despite coming from a troubled home environment. Your donation means a lot to all of us. Please make a donation today by clicking on the donate button above. God bless you!