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The health care mandate Do No Harm also goes by the wayside when considering short people. The idea that height is important for all things, from finding love to earning higher paychecks,7 to succeeding in life and being taken seriously, is well documented in the scientific literature. It didn't surprise me to learn that to become a fashion model, a woman must be at minimum 5'8, though the average American woman is closer to 5'4. But I do admit to being surprised that even sperm banks discriminate; When do you do the right thing as a parent, friend, or member of your community? At what do you excel in life? What have you accomplished in your health or fitness goals that you feel good about? Carry this list with you during the week so that whenever you want to access more pride, you can easily read it. Plan for pride. Ask yourself, What is one thing I can do to generate more pride today? Perhaps you can complete a project that you've been working hard on or volunteer to help a friend in need. Then follow through on that one thing for an extra dose of pride. Live the pride fully. Get to know your personal pride sensations. The insecure leader, the one who is not willing to rely upon the strengths of his group members, the one who must take upon himself the responsibility for the group -- this leader will invariably come to rely more and more upon setting up restrictive limits, formal rules and procedures, and complex structures within his organization. In our own Counseling Center organization we seem to have been moving in a direction of fewer limits, less structure, and more simple procedures. For example, we have almost entirely dispensed with formal standing committees, parliamentary procedures, formal channels of communication, static roles. It would be almost impossible, as well as foreign to the attitudes of our staff members, to construct an organizational chart. We have done away with closed meetings; It has been, however, a slow process of growth for us to become less dependent upon structure and formalistic procedures.

At times it has seemed more chaotic and disorganized, and sometimes we have rushed to set up structure as a corrective. Yet we usually have returned to the more functional mode of operating as quickly as we have relearned the lesson that such procedures seldom motivate or accelerate action and behavior. Our own experience has been paralleled to some extent by that of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in England. In conversations with members of this organization we have gained the impression that they have been experimenting with some of these same principles of organization and administration. Short kids who are healthy and not low in growth hormone but might wind up shorter than their peers can now receive an official diagnosis--idiopathic short stature--and qualify for synthetic growth hormone shots. These shots don't confer any health advantages, but they do come with a long list of potential contraindications. The psychological distress associated with being very short (in other words, distress resulting from being victim to stigma and discrimination) is used to justify treatment. I have compassion for why fat people and short kids (and their parents) consider or choose to undertake medical intervention. The idea of escaping a stigmatized and discriminated against class, however false or health-damaging the method, provides hope, while managing or ending the stigma or discrimination can seem out of reach. Consideration of these ideas really drives home the message of this article: We must work to end the stigma and discrimination at their root, support one another, and develop our individual resilience to manage the stigma and discrimination while it persists. TRAUMA RESILIENCE We humans are a resilient species. If we are around people who love us, take care of us, dive deep into compassion for us when things are particularly hard, we can do well despite horrible things happening. If someone with a marginalized identity, for example, was raised in a loving family and belongs to a strong supportive community, they may be less scarred by systemic trauma. When you notice you're feeling pride, pause and really take in how it feels. What's going on in your body? How does your mind feel? What are the positives showing up in your behavior? Whatever you're feeling in a moment of pride, experience it with all your senses and savor it. The Power of Pride

Here's how meQuilibrium member Julie, thirty-eight, honed her pride radar and what that yielded: I have pretty exacting standards for myself when it comes to my job and being a mom. I demand a lot of myself, and over the years, that has really gotten me down, because I feel like I fall short of the mark--a lot. I immediately identified pride as an emotion I wanted to feel more of, and tried to give myself a boost there by looking for what I do well instead of what I think I mess up and feel badly about. Flexibility is valued highly in their organization, and staff members are given freedom to define and develop their own roles. Elliott Jaques writes: In the day to day management of the Institute itself, group principles have been used. All decisions are made by committees by group decision, and individuals are then made responsible for carrying these decisions out. So far as possible, each individual participates in making the decisions, the action for which he will be responsible. Conveying acceptance and permissiveness, then, is another function which the group-centered leader brings to the group. It is rarely present in groups, and in most organizations group members seldom feel that their contributions will be accepted. But once again, we are convinced that when the leader brings acceptance to the group, there is a gradual taking-over of this function by the group members. They become more accepting of each other, they become more tolerant of differences among themselves and they begin to help each other to feel that their contributions, not just those of the leader, are welcome and will be accepted. Consequently, it becomes easier for the members to express their own real attitudes and feelings and to accept the same in others. Various protective experiences can mitigate the harms of ACEs and make us more resilient. These include having access to adequate food, living in a safe and clean home, and attending a high-quality and well-resourced school. We can also gain protection from unconditional love from adults, whether a parent, caregiver, teacher, or other ally, or even from mere contact with an adult we trust. Having a close friend to confide in likewise bolsters us. Other sources of support include involvement in civic organizations such as service clubs, religious organizations, or social groups; What each of these experiences have in common is that they remind you that others value you, which helps you learn to value yourself.

Humans are remarkably adaptable, and compensatory factors that we accrue later in life can often help us transcend a traumatic childhood. Each protective experience makes us better equipped to compensate for a high ACEs score and improve our health and well-being. This means that a bad start in life doesn't seal a negative fate. We can even grow stronger for our pain. At the end of each day, I took thirty minutes to write in my journal. I'd list all the times that day when I had met my own expectations, did something well, or did the right thing. In the beginning, it was hard. I was so used to finding the negative. But it gradually got easier. Instead of just focusing on the one thing my boss said I did wrong in the project, I'd write down the things she said I did well. I'd take note of the times I found time for a workout or to read to my son even when I was dog-tired. I used to just take that stuff for granted. But not anymore. It has been six months since I started doing this. The Linking Function There is another important function which the group-centered leader serves in the group, and for want of a more exact term it will be called the linking function. An analogy may be helpful in communicating the meaning to the reader. All of us have observed raindrops striking against the top of a window. Some of them, after hitting the window, form a little stream which carries the water to the bottom of the window. Different streams form and give the effect of parallel channels, each carrying part of the water to the bottom.

If, however, I take my finger and link a new drop to an already existing channel, the water will follow this channel rather than forming one of its own. If I were able to provide a link between each new raindrop and the already existing channel, I would then have a steady stream of water streaking down the window in just one channel. Something like the first description seems to happen in most groups. It can be seen most clearly in face-to-face discussion groups. As an example, there is some research that supports the idea that people with a history of child abuse develop enhanced abilities to sense threats in the environment and learn new things, which are excellent traits to hone. HOW NOT TO TRAUMATIZE KIDS My parents did the best they could, given the resources they had and what they knew. Their efforts to make me gender-conform came from good intentions. They wanted the best for me. What they didn't understand was that conformity wouldn't make me happier. It was a short-term plan to avoid the pain of stigmatization, with long-term consequences. It sent a message that I was the problem and failed to call out the real problem, which is our discriminatory culture. Life is painful. We can't protect our kids from every insult and injury, nor should we try to. I don't do it every day anymore--probably more like once a week. But whenever I find myself feeling shame, I stop to find the things I did well and the times I did the right thing. I enjoy the pride! TUNE YOUR INTEREST AND ENGAGEMENT RADAR Interest/engagement is the polar opposite of boredom, lethargy, or just feeling blah. It's triggered when a task is just within our capabilities to achieve.