“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”— Bob Marley
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but great deeds. To live in faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you”
Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them
"If you are always being judged by someone, it does not define who you are. It defines who they are." - Unknown
As a child growing up I was fortunate to have a parent who saw beyond colour, class, creed, race or ethnicity to people’s hearts. I like to think my instinctive care for others was inherited from my mother. She has a unique way of talking to people most would prefer to ignore or shun and for a very long time my child-like innocence believed everyone saw the world similarly. The understanding that I was “different” came when I was six years old.
I had a second year teacher that didn’t care too much for me: this intelligent but disorganized child that seemed caught up in her own world and imagination more often than not. The incident that stood out to me was a classmate had been attempting to bully me and my complaints had been ignored. One day I had enough of non-retaliation. As my bully started poking me with her pencil, I hit her hand saying stop. Unfortunately for her, the pencil lead broke and because she was grasping it tightly to poke me, it embedded in her hand.
The situation caused an uproar. I was sent into isolation punishment and parents were called in. What shocked me was the racist vitriol that came out of the bully’s mother’s mouth: the statements she made about me because of how I looked and the assumptions she made about my family, my upbringing and my future prospects. When she met my mother, she went into shock and when the shock wore off she back-pedalled so quickly her brain had to have hurt but it taught me a lesson. Some people will judge you based on how you look.
You see even though I have mixed genetics I am predominantly black in outlook with the chocolate skin, brown eyes, seldom “tamed” kinky nappy hair and tangled, trippy limbs. My mother wears our Indian, African and Spanish ancestry with her olive complexion, dark eyes, curly “nice” hair, “classic” facial features and petite form. Our appearances drastically differ and often people have asked if I was adopted to which my mother takes deep offence.
Growing up, at least until I became a teenager, I was my mother’s shadow. She carried me almost everywhere she went and it was very rare for me to be away from her. This closeness meant I often heard things, cutting criticisms or summations of who I was and who I would grow up to be. I have been told by society matrons, church busybodies, well meaning family members, teachers and peers (directly or indirectly) I am not pretty/talented/popular/smart/rich/well-connected and thus will not succeed.
As a teenager hurtful words were battering rams against my self esteem. As an adult I accept that people’s expressions and judgements are not reflection on me but rather a reflection of their own morals, values, bias and thinking. Tyler Perry’s popular character Madea touches on this when she say ”It’s not what people call you It’s what you answer to.” There is a vast difference between constructive criticism which helps you to improve and become better, and biting criticism which is meant to be degenerating or hurtful.
What matters to me is how I see myself, how I define myself and I understand as I grow it will be a definition that consistently evolves around the foundation core of my intrinsic self. It is an outlook that has allowed me to escape the entanglements of other people’s opinion’s and move past their judgements. C’est la vie!
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”—Buddha