Discovering the Gems of Potential

June 25, 2012

By Gina Hoefler

“Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value.”

Every person is a unique individual with the potential to develop positive qualities and it is through spiritual education that anyone can grow positively, develop their talents, and become a positive influence on society. This is especially true for children with disabilities.

We are often told to realize our dreams, our potential: “be all you can be”, etc. So you know you are a unique individual, that you have talents and potential. You know that you are a good person, even though you make mistakes. Your child is a special person and she has potential to grow up and be a good person. As a Baha’i, I learned early on that we are all “spiritual beings.” It is not what a person can do, or not do, their looks or abilities that make them valuable. It is what is inside the heart that matters. Look at you child as a spiritual being, not as someone “disabled”.

How can I raise my child to realize her potential and be a good person?

  • First, believe that she is a unique and valuable person. Understand that she is a spiritual being.
  • Then, provide a spiritual education for her, that will “mine” those hidden gems of good character that she possesses; those “gems” waiting to be discovered and released.
  • See that she is involved in family and community life. Good experience ”belonging” will teach her that she can contribute to the betterment of society.
  • Teach others to view your child through their “spiritual eyes” and to reduce their own prejudice, also.

What if all our children were encouraged to continue growing and developing their innate capacities from wherever they begin? We are engaged in caring for some special people. Let’s never think only of their limitations. Let’s always be engaged in helping each of them grow and realize their potential, however long it takes. We don’t know what they can do, until we allow them to believe in themselves, and try.

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