When you think of Percy Jackson, what do you think? I’m guessing the first thing that comes to mind is demi-god or the Olympians or Greek Mythology. You don’t usually think of his attitude towards himself, and how he’s not a big fan of himself. Percy Jackson is one type of kid that some people can relate with – maybe minus the whole being the son of Poseidon thing. He’s not confident in himself, he doesn’t understand why people can be happy with him or proud of him. To have self-compassion is to care for yourself and be kind to yourself. Percy tends to rarely practice these and instead he is very rude to himself and often scolds himself. Percy could be kind to himself, but he isn’t. Unfortunately, there isn’t a 100% clear reason but there’s still advice to give to young Percy Jackson.
Percy Jackson doesn’t believe in himself very much. He doesn’t think much of himself and he doesn’t think that he will ever do anything important in his life. “I’m just a nobody from a family of nobodies.” He doesn’t think that he will ever be something or do something helpful or big in the future. Maybe it’s because of how people treat him, maybe it’s because people don’t really allow him to have confidence in himself, but he always brings himself down and thinks that he’s pretty worthless and useless. “What was so great about me? A dyslexic, hyperactive boy with a D+ report card, kicked out of school for the sixth time in six years.” This shows that Percy thinks of dyslexia and ADHD as something that holds him back and that they’re almost like a disability and he’s almost ashamed of himself. He’s not happy with what he’s done with his life and almost acts as if it’s a waste of 6 years. He’s bringing himself down and is so convinced that he’s not worth this and not good enough and a waste of other people’s energy. He’s criticizing himself and not caring for how that will hurt him.
According to Newsela article Try Being Kind To Yourself “From early childhood, we are taught that we must succeed at all costs. What most of us are not taught is how to fail successfully so we can change and grow.” Personally, this embodies Percy’s emotions and how he grew up and what he lives by – succeed at all costs. As a young “troubled” kid, he grew exceedingly frustrated with his ADHD and his dyslexia. Percy basically failed every grade (with being expelled in every grade), even though it isn’t exactly said it’s very much implied. Percy always thinks that when he fails, he fails because he’s useless. This is kind of why Percy needs to learn to improve his self-compassion and improve his mindset because he’s learnt to succeed and not learn how to successfully fail, which probably would help improve his mindset, learning to fail successfully. He is so focused on doing something perfectly, especially with his grades, but then he needs to learn its ok to fail and how to fail with a flourish and not a flop. How can Percy realise that he is not the only one who is imperfect? Percy has thought up in his mind this little fantasy that’s he’s the only person on earth that is struggling and the only person that thinks something is a waste and the only person who is upset with themselves when that’s not the case at all. “Common humanity involves recognizing that all humans are imperfect. We have to remember to connect our own flawed condition to the shared human condition so we can have a better understanding of our weaknesses.” We all need to remember that everyone has a flaw so we can get a better understanding of how something may be holding us back and how we will get through whatever we are going through. Furthermore, Percy isn’t very kind to himself. “Self-kindness involves being caring, understanding and supportive toward ourselves when we fail or make mistakes, rather than being harshly critical or judgmental.” Whenever he messes up, Percy’s critical and harsh and generally not a nice person to himself. When he felt the words “floated off the book” during his attempt to study, he threw the book across the room and then yelled at himself for doing so. He doesn’t get that it’s going to be ok, everything will eventually be ok, and it’s not the end of the world. I get it, sometimes it’s hard for people to practice self-compassion when they’re feeling under the weather or super stressed but it’s always important to try.
I think that the biggest influence on Percy’s self-compassion is his environment. The people around him made him feel worthless. Gabe treated him like junk, Nancy Bobofit and her friends were horrible to him and his teachers (aside from Mr Brunner) didn’t do anything to help him. And Percy took it straight from them and how they treated him which made him feel worthless. I think that if he hadn’t of let them get to him and instead listened to people like his mother or Grover, he would’ve thought more of himself, and would care for himself a lot more. My advice to Percy is to practice being kind to himself. When he fails or messes up he should take a breath and start again instead of yelling at himself to do better and be better and be someone he isn’t. He shouldn’t get and that he has dyslexia and ADHD and instead try harder to achieve his goal and think of ADHD and dyslexia as hurdles instead of boundaries. Percy should also think of the little things that make him happy about himself and the things that make him proud to be himself, instead of thinking of the things that people say about him being worthless. He should live up to himself instead of living up to what people want him to be.