Race and Self-Esteem

I just read a wonderful piece in this month’s National Geographic’s Special Issue: Black and White, April 2018. At least one piece, “Skin Deep” by Elizabeth Kolbert, indirectly brings us to the notion of self-esteem and personal development. From a rather simple scientific premise Kolbert hypnotically leads us to a more solid acceptance of ourselves as a singular human race. Kolbert presents an exceptional platform for considering that we as a human family can begin to consider that we are just that, a one-race clan with countless threads or “tweaks” in our DNA that have geographically molded us into the individuals and groups that now exist in the world. The foundation of basic self acceptance and understanding is knowing who we are at our inner most depth and continuing to mature into greater awareness which always leads to a more generous acceptance and awareness of others.

Kolbert doesn’t use the terms “self-esteem” or “personal development” in her article but with a dose of idealistic dreaming and positive projecting, we can begin to consider that we can mature out of racism and begin shaking hands around the world as a single family. For Kolbert, race is a “made up term” and skin color is as simple as “latitude” in understanding the human race. Her exquisite presentation of the science of skin colors goes a long way to dismantle the ugly cloak of ethnic disparities which historically have been built on the very beauty of our individualism, our physical features, especially color.

As I read Kolbert’s article I found myself faced with the fact that even though I consider myself an accepting person and have fought against racism, I do have little flairs of cultural biases that pop up and (gulp) most, if not all of them are visually based. I was honest with myself that I don’t like these little pop-ups. And in an attempt to be true to my own teaching, I let myself feel that bit of sad. My bit of sad appropriately turned to a more deep and global sadness for those whom racism has harmed. I breathed a personal petition of forgiveness and found a sense of calm. As I continued to read Kolbert’s simple, yet exquisite rendition of “we are but one of many colors”, and then on to subsequent articles in this fabulous issue, I found myself feeling lighter, happier, and relieved. I found myself optimistic, that as National Geo’s DNA testing insert suggests, I could “forget race” and focus on our individual ancestral stories that lead us all back to the same home base from which we migrated.

What to Expect

We built a new website. The old one, good, but dated, was begging us to update. “Too many words” it kept saying. The new one is much more streamlined. In one central space, our builder asked us to provide a picture of “what to expect”, suggesting a picture of one of our offices. Okay, that’s doable. I sent him a handful from which he picked one. I looked at it in the development site and liked it, mostly because it was one of my offices and I really like my offices. A couple of days later Ron and I were driving back from visiting one of our daughters and grand-kids and were discussing the website. I told Ron that I thought “the what to expect” should be a picture of a box of tissues!” We both heartily laughed out loud knowing it “wouldn’t fly”. Seriously though, it isn’t a bad idea. The goal of a new website is to more actively represent the work we do which is mentoring people through their tears and on to Self Acceptance and eventual enhancement. In other words, to be real. What can be more real in a therapists’ office than tissues! So here you go, my favorite shot of what to expect when you come to me for direction in Self Acceptance and Understanding.

So here you go, my favorite shot of what to expect when you come to me for direction in self acceptance and understanding.

All my best,

Dr. Deb