A Spark for a Change: Finding the Ruby Slippers

By: Erin Parker Last Updated: March 31, 2014

sparkforchange rotator2I'm back, and I couldn't be happier to have my fingers to the keys again. It's been a crazy few months, but more than anything, I have had trouble coming up with something to say. I don't want to write for the sake of writing; I want every word to mean something.

My students are going to be doing a writing assignment this week, so I thought I would use this column to do one of my own. I am going to have them write about a life lesson they have learned from someone whom they admire. It didn't take me long to think of mine. It is one that I just learned but one that has made such an enormous impact on me. It's the idea of the ruby slippers and how so many of us think we need an outside source—a person or item—to become who we dream of being. What so many of us fail to realize is that we had the power inside of us all along.

It took a special friend/hero to teach me this lesson, and it is something I wish I could give to every single student I meet. I have struggled my whole life with self confidence, and I never truly believed in myself like others did. My friend constantly reminded me that I was special, and she eventually chipped away at my jaded self image. There are too many people who are like me and would rather magnify the inequities we have than focus on how great we truly are. Here is the thing that I want to get at though. It is important for us who struggle with confidence to have someone to show us our inner greatness or at least believe it is there. For the kids who struggle like me, they need someone to push the ruby slippers in front of them.

Be someone who gives others their ruby slippers. Be someone who sees greatness in others and helps them find it in themselves because this is the best gift you can give to another person. To help someone see him/herself in a positive light is a gift that can never be repaid and one that keeps on giving. Because my friend did this for me, I have a passion for helping others finding their own power within.

My life has changed exponentially because of others believing so much in me that it forced me to believe in myself. We have the duty to do that for others, especially kids. Take the time to help our younger generation realize and tap into their greatness. It will make all the difference.