Thursday, June 16, 2011

Who am I? That's easy. Who are you?

The Breakfast Club - 1985

"Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was that we did wrong...and what we did was wrong, but we think you're crazy to make us write this essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us... in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Does that answer your question?"

So...who do I think I am?

For everyone else that sees me on the outside, that is easy. I am a woman. I am a mother, wife, friend, educator, mentor and advocate. What else is there? I assure you, there is plenty more of who I really am. Do you really want to know? Are you interested? Then listen.

People see what they want to see. Some see us as hot headed, egotistical, fat, flirtatious, funny, nice, compassionate, or stupid. They make fun of us for feeling how we do, and tell us that we shouldn't feel that way. They make our self-esteem drop to the ground because they do not validate our feelings or even acknowledge them. However, we as human beings are much more complex than that. We allow for you to see just bits and parts of who we really are, because of our fear of intimidation and failure. However, if you took the time and listened, you might be surprised at who we really are.

Open your eyes and your heart and listen to what is being said and how it is presented. Do not pretend to listen to us, and only hear what you want. We are more than what you see. We are human. Do not bully us into agreeing with your beliefs or be mad at us because we may not agree with everything you do. We are individuals. We are entitled to our own opinions and beliefs and our values are most likely going to be different. We will not stand to be ridiculed and humiliated just because we think outside of the box. We are who we are. That won't change.

If you really want to know us, then there are simple things you must know. Include us instead of exclude at us rather than look us up and down...listen to us rather than ignore with us rather than at us and accept us no matter how different you think we are. You don't have to like us, but at least respect us enough to accept our differences and allow us to be free.

Accept our faults and our failures, just as much as our goodness and successes. Include us, guide us, and trust us. Let our differences be what keeps us laughing, not what tears us apart. Teach us to fly, and we will soar.

Who am I? That is easy. I know exactly who I am and what I stand for. Who are you?


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