No One Can Make Me Feel Bad Without My Permission…
... Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady of the United States from 1933 – 1945. I love that quote. How many people could use a little more self-esteem, self confidence, so that the cruel words of a stranger, a friend, even your own spouse couldn’t hurt you? I don’t know the number either but I suspect the answer is lots. The reason I’m preoccupied with Eleanor Roosevelt this evening is because of a conversation I had online with a young woman. She didn’t like her face, people insulted her face but they liked her body. She didn’t even like looking in a mirror. It’s a sad thing what the brainwashing by ignorant people and an even more ignorant media can do to young people.
I want to tell this young girl what about the many great things about her? Perhaps her grades at school are exemplary, she may be popular because she is a truly wonderful person, perhaps she owns a wonderful talent in writing or playing a sport but even to me these words taste like that saccarine sweet nonsense of Disney movies. As if.
I want to tell this young girl that lots of extraordinary people in this world were confronted with ridicule, rejection and insult merely because they weren’t “perfect“. They didn’t fit someone else’s mold of beautiful, intelligent, talented, athletic but what saved these individuals was their refusal to believe in the cruelty of others, their refusal to give anyone permission to make them feel bad about themselves.
To quote Mohammed Ali, one of the world’s champion boxing heavyweights ridiculed in high school for his dyslexia: “I knew who the real dummies were.”
I want to tell this young girl if she lived in a Muslim country, when she wasn’t wearing a Niqab she would dream of removing her veil and revealing her young face to the world. But I can’t say it as well as I’d like to, and so not without some irony, I offer her brief media exposure to a few unique people and their individual, difficult journey from youth to adulthood to make my point for me:
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