Have you ever been in a room when someone walks in and everyone is immediately drawn to that person? That individual exudes easiness, openness, and genuine warmth, making them approachable. That person has a healthy self-image and is a soaring butterfly.

In order to experience happy human relations, we must consider self-image. Depending on the way we perceive ourselves, self-image dictates how we behave.

Let’s use a butterfly as a metaphor since it evolves and grows. Our self-image is crucial.  We need consciously to decide everyday not to be hurt and not to hurt others.  Everyday we have the opportunity to lift up someone and help him or her soar. Sometimes we soar and other times we need a boost. We all need each other.

We are a caring society that believes in healing and making things better. However, leader are needed to get things rolling. Leaders are people who set the tone and vision and aren’t afraid to run into obstacles and make mistakes. Leaders recognize the value of a team or family. They inspire us so that we collectively can make things happen. We can all be soaring butterflies. Even the smallest step taken by one person can create change.

Part of the journey to forgiveness is using past failures to create a better way forward. It’s important to continue this conversation with our government and our leaders. We need to hold ourselves in high esteem because if we don’t, others will not.

Loving others and being loved in return is the greatest gift. We are past the holiday season that reminded us all about kindness, peace, and understanding. Let’s truly use that as a springboard for a better year.

So let’s encourage butterflies and not crush them.

Lorraine Bergstrom, a Parkdale resident for almost 11 years, loves the potential and inclusiveness of this community. She’s currently helping to facilitate jam sessions for community musicians and performers.