I read something so troubling yesterday that it pained my soul. Why? Well, it was a description of a community by a writer who does not know that community, to an audience (who I would like to think is) genuinely curious. The article I read was one of two things, truth or blatantly offensive. Either way, the commentary is sad, but it sells.
Unsettled, I actively pulled up the perimeter of the community of focus. I did so to compare, in fact, the picture painted in the article with the one in my head. Maybe I was being too optimistic in thought? It is possible.
Actual people and families living within this targeted area flooded my thoughts. I began to identify (by name) residents within these boundaries who, contrarily to the writer’s depiction:
- live with their spouses,
- parents who take care of their children,
- are educated and believe in the value of education,
- work and work hard,
- are faith-filled and faithful,
- are respectful and respected,
- actively strive for success,
- are not criminals,
- are not receiving any form of “free” governmental assistance,
- and so and so forth.
I began to list residents who, if you are in distress, they will take a moment to listen, and to help. I began to note people of and from that community who have done and are doing positive and amazing things. The list is long and growing, and silenced. The sadness of my soul grew heavier.
You know, people have their own agendas when telling your story. Far too many times, far too many people consent to other people’s versions about their lives because they do not know (for themselves) their assets, their value, their history, their truth. Once you understand that your very presence is a miracle, that alone should give you life. Once you accept that your life is one of purpose, that your value is too great to be measured, that your destiny is greatness, you will understand that your responsibility to be great is owed not only to yourself, but to those who sacrificed before you and to those who will follow. You will recognize that the inspiration and focus which lives within you is intentional, disallowing you to accept another person’s truth about your circumstance. You will know you for yourself. It is for them to accept, or not. Either way, you are not deterred.
A few years ago, I learned that there is a language of success. SPEAK it! Insecurities may tempt you to hide the good of your life. People will be jealous. Oh well. People will talk about you for being true. Shrug. People will attempt to be stumbling blocks. Rise above them. These people should not be walking close to you anyway. Be thankful that you can recognize them. Do not be bitter. Be better!
Speak your successes! People will be happy for you! Some you will see. Some you will not. Be encouraged. People will help you! People will watch you. People want to see positive manifestations in both people and in situations. Be honest. You want to see it too!
Speak your successes! SHINE and SHINE BRIGHTLY! Do not apologize for being your best self. You will draw onto you new associations, new experiences, new opportunities which will challenge you to be all you can be. You will challenge theirs.
Speak your successes so that when others share their versions of you for their gain, the audience will have a rebuttal. One rebuttal may be considered an exception. One rebuttal will make a truth not absolute. Just think…..a non-absolute truth presented in an absolute way…well…..that is a lie.