Active Engagement is about physically connect- ing to the world. Everyone (regardless of physical ability) exists in their body—physical existence is the foundation of mental and emotional existence. The body is a significant factor in psychosomatic, eating, and stress disorders.
Assertiveness is about having agency and self-efficacy, the ability to negotiate one’s self in relation to others, and make decisions. All humans feel the need to affect the world around them. Assertiveness reminds us that young people need opportunities to develop their voices, make decisions for themselves, and master internal order and executive function.
Belonging is about building strong relationships with peers and adults, group acceptance and group identity. The need for belonging is central to our early development in our attachment to our caregivers and continues throughout our lives in a variety of ways. Humans are social creatures, and group belonging is essential for well-being and survival.
Reflection describes the need to create and make meaning. It involves making sense of one’s own experiences, emotions and thoughts to create a sense of personal identity. Humans are conscious creatures; in fact, many philosophers have argued that the ability to reflect and take perspective is what makes humans unique.