Cultivating Leadership Through Self-Acceptance and Forgiveness

Posted by Catherine Hiles on

Youth are often pulled in opposite directions by the desire to alternately conform and be an individual. As they struggle to find out “who” they are as a person, some may become uncommunicative, uncooperative or rebellious at home. At school, others will become willful and opinionated, or confused and hesitant to speak up.

As young people begin to be themselves and love who they are, they will find the confidence to not only learn better, but contribute to the world around them in positive ways. In this lesson from WGBH, students watch videos about self-acceptance and forgiveness. After watching, help them explore how these qualities relate to personal growth and leadership potential.

The lesson begins with a brief teacher-led discussion that connects the qualities of self-acceptance and forgiveness to leadership potential. Students watch a video about self-acceptance and reflect on its meaning and importance. They then do a writing activity that helps them identify and reflect on who they are. In Part II, students watch a video about forgiveness and complete an exercise that helps them put this quality into practice. Students may then (optionally) watch a video about Gandhi and/or Nelson Mandela and explore how forgiveness was a source of strength for these leaders. In Part III, students demonstrate their understanding of how self-acceptance and forgiveness can lead to personal growth and, in turn, concern for others.

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