Chapter 2 of 2: We are now going to hear a story about sixth-grader Jackie. Watch how her feelings about herself either motivate her to do the victim thing or to decide to act like an extraordinary hero. This story is called “The ‘ordinary world’ of Little Jackie.”
The ‘ordinary world’ of Little Jackie
© 2001 by Debbie Dunn
- Click here to read the previous chapter called “Little Jackie meets the Ancient One”
Chapter 2: Little Jackie learns what it means to be extraordinary
The Ancient One said, “Jackie, you have two choices. You can capitalize on feeling like a victim and wallow in depression, or you can embrace the fact that you are loved and supported by some extraordinary people.”
Jackie said in puzzlement, “I still don’t get it.”
“Okay,” the Ancient One said, “let’s explore the facts. Your parents had the sense to give birth to you and raise you up the best they could. That makes them extraordinary. Your friends have the good sense to want to be your friend. They value you and appreciate you and enjoy your company. That makes them extraordinary. And just like you’ll see that every flower in this clearing is totally different and unique from each other, you are totally unique. You have a look that makes you be who you are. You wouldn’t be Jackie if you didn’t look exactly the way you look right now. You would be some other girl. And since there is no way you can be anybody else but you, you need to have the good sense to appreciate and like and even love yourself exactly as you are. To do that would make you truly extraordinary. But if you do not love and appreciate yourself and your life, you are choosing to cling to victimhood. Do you understand now?”
Jackie sat quietly for some time. She felt a warm glow seep all the way through her. Finally, she said, “Wow! I’ve never thought about it that way before. My parents are pretty special, and my friends are pretty nice. They seem to think I’m kind of okay. If they can think that, I guess I can, too.”
The Ancient One smiled and said, “Good for you, Jackie! You are moving away from being a victim and choosing to be extraordinary instead. But Jackie, even if there was no one on this earth who thought you were special, it is important that you think that way about yourself. You need to know that you are as you were made. This is the way you were meant to look. This is the family you were meant to have. Those are the friends who are supposed to be your friends. You have a good mind. Use your ‘smarts’ to concentrate on celebrating being exactly who you are. You have a special purpose that only you can accomplish. You are truly extraordinary!”
Jackie smiled shyly and said, “Thank you!”
“You’re welcome.” The Ancient One got up and said, “Remember this also, I only spend my time talking to extraordinary people.” She smiled and said, “It takes one to know one. I am one, and so are you. So be good to yourself.” Then the old woman walked off.
Teacher Says or Asks: How did the Ancient One tell Jackie she could avoid being a victim?
Students Respond: Accept reasonable answers like:
1. She could remember that she is extraordinary.
2. Her parents are extraordinary for giving birth to her.
3. Her friends are extraordinary for having the sense to be friends with her.
4. Jackie should remember that she is extraordinary even if no one else on earth thought so.
5. She should also realize that she is exactly as she was made. She is supposed to look the way that she looks and celebrate that fact rather than bemoan it.
6. Additionally, Jackie has a special purpose that only she can accomplish. All this makes her an extraordinary person.
Jackie stared after her. Just then, a shaft of light from the sun blinded her for just a moment. When Jackie blinked and looked again, the Ancient One was gone. Jackie got up and looked through the trees. She attempted to see where the older woman might have disappeared to, but she was nowhere to be found.
Jackie shook her head in confusion but noticed that in spite of that, she still had that warm feeling about herself and her life. Jackie thought, “Maybe the Ancient One is right. Maybe I am extraordinary. And if I’m extraordinary, then that means that all the people around me must be extraordinary, too.”
Jackie had a whole new way of looking at herself and her world. She certainly didn’t want to spend her whole life feeling like a victim. She would much rather celebrate her life.
On Monday, Jackie went to school. In class, as she raised her hand to ask or answer a question, she couldn’t help thinking, “That teacher is extraordinary!” She looked around at her classmates and thought, “My classmates are extraordinary!” As Jackie spent time with her friends, she had a new sense of appreciation for them. She thought, “My friends are really extraordinary!” Jackie had a new confidence in her step. She had a happy sparkle in her eyes as she walked with intention through her day. At home, she gave her parents a loving hug and again thought, “My parents are also extraordinary!”
The next Saturday, Jackie decided to find the Ancient One to thank her. But the strange thing was that Jackie couldn’t even find those woods again. She tried and tried to retrace her steps but nothing worked.
Jackie wondered, “Was that old woman real in the first place? Did I actually have that experience? But something must have happened, for I don’t even feel like the same person anymore!”
As she thought about it, Jackie realized, “Those popular kids have actually been kind of nice to me this week. And nobody seems to care what kind of clothes that I put on my back.”
It seemed that all they cared about or noticed was that Jackie’s smile was bright and her confidence level was high. Jackie felt that she was an extraordinary girl with extraordinary parents and friends, living in an extraordinary world. So whether the Ancient One was a dream woman or actual person, it didn’t matter. Jackie’s life was never going to be the same again!
Return to Middle School lesson plan: The ‘ordinary world’ of Little Jackie (coming soon)
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