Thinking Thursday: Be Amazing. Quite the thought, isn’t it?
It’s not my thought. It comes, as so many of my inspirations do, from Maya Angelou.
What an idea. And, at the heart of it, isn’t that the struggle so many of us go through in our lives? We want to stand out, to be noticed, appreciated…yet, we struggle with the need to be accepted. So many times, we feel that the only path to being accepted is to conform. Go along to get along. Nobody likes a show off. Humble is good. One of the worst insults you can hear is that you’re being selfish, prideful, attention seeking.
We tend to eat our own, as a society. You see it start young, in groups of children. It’s usually easy to identify the one that’s different. They’re on the fringe of the group, or even off on their own. “Not like us!” is bad.
We learn that lesson, early and often. We’re taught to hide our unique talents, skills and abilities. We’re so worried about being different, being mocked, ridiculed, that we hide who we truly are at heart. We accept the pain of trying to be someone we’re not, the coldness and dark of staying in the shadows, for fear of rejection.
Fear of success, fear of failure. I know both of these, personally. I know what it’s like to live in the cold stasis of limbo, not sure where to step, unable to step forward, impossible to step back. Treading water, terrified to drown, but not being able to swim ahead.
How much time and energy is wasted on trying to be normal? How many voices have we lost, through the generations, because they were pushed to fit in, be the same, be normal, rather than having been encouraged to step forth, to be the amazing person that they are at heart?
When will we, as individuals, and as a society, decide that being who we are, being ourselves, is a precious gift, something to be celebrated and honoured, rather than ruthlessly stomped out?
As a parent, I consider this to be one of my most important of tasks. To teach my children to be themselves. To celebrate their own unique skills, talents, thoughts and perspectives. To teach them the rules of society: common courtesy, respect, to be a healthy, well-rounded, responsible person, without instilling in them the overwhelming need to be ‘normal’…like everyone else. To teach them to enjoy who they are, without becoming arrogant. To teach them to value themselves, without devaluing others. To understand that everyone is, at heart, amazing. To appreciate that, in themselves and others.
To teach them to not live in the shadow of others, but to be unafraid to step forth into the sun, and cast their own shadow. To dream, to explore their talents, passions, and interests.
To be who they were meant to be, rather than what anyone tells them they should be, have to be, must be.
To follow the rules of society, yet keep their own individuality intact.
So, I encourage everyone: listen to Maya. Be you. Be amazing.
Of course, while I’ve been working on this blog post, Tazzie and Princess were mucking about with the camo duct tape that Wolf gave Tazzie the other day. Specifically, Tazzie had challenged Princess to duct tape his hands and feet, to see if he could escape.
Don’t forget, the Plan to Eat give away ends on Sunday! Enter today, by leaving a comment!