Friday, 1 October 2010
Proud to be...
It was a comment on a friend's blog that inspired me to write this post. The post was about the things we thought as kids. The comment talked about the innocence of youth and in particular spoke about losing the ability to be unashamedly proud of things we're good at.
This really rang true with me. I can't remember when in my childhood I started being embarrassed about things I was good at. I was a smart kid at school but I seem to have learned fairly on that it wasn't something to let on about. I can remember being thought a swot just because I knew the answers, and quickly learning to keep quiet in class. Worse still I ended up being bullied for being just that little bit different - I was a year younger than everyone else, my Mum was English so we 'spoke posh', I was brainy and not very good at sports. And I always felt like the ugly duckling. I was definitely not in with the 'in-crowd'.
I did have a few good friends. Or sadly and more accurately, fairweather friends who were only too ready to give me up if the tide of popular opinion turned against me. Things did improve as I got older. By the time I was in the later years of High School I'd worked out who my real friends were and I was more accepted for who I was, not shunned for who I wasn't. But I'm sad to say it has stayed with me much of my life. I can honestly say that it's only really the last 3 or 4 years that I've come to a peace with myself about who I am, and can take the comments about my intelligent mind as the compliments they're intended to be instead of the sleights they've always felt like to me. (Although having said that, I'm still a little embarrassed writing this today!)
I guess what I want to say is, those of you with little people - cherish them, celebrate their strengths, allow them to be proud of who they are and what they're good at, even if it is unconventional. Don't let life grind them down in its headlong rush for mediocrity and celebration of the average. Celebrate difference. Praise achievement. Love success.
It's not true that pride cometh before destruction - handled right it can come before a happy successful settled and peaceful sense of self, which is the greatest gift the world can give.