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Tag Archives: values

Be Something Better

There has been so much to tell over the last few years. I decided I would one day write a book and meant to be writing about all the details as they occurred, so I wouldn’t forget. The problem is that as one heartbreaking moment after the next took place, actually reliving it to write it down while it was still raw became increasingly difficult. Somehow, having a running tally of the wrongs my little girl suffered while I could only watch brought me heartache and suffering on her behalf (not to mention the mire I was wading through in other areas of my life). But it’s time to begin to use this and time to begin to tell the story.

Recently, I was told I couldn’t understand a hard life because I “came from a different world” from this other person… this person who has no idea where I’ve been or the life I’ve lived. That is a careless assumption. And coming from a hard place is no excuse to stay there and drag others along who could otherwise have a better life. How selfish!

This is not an excuse for a lack of humanity, ethics, or sense of responsibility.

Yes, I grew up blessed to always have what I needed, but I never took that for granted. Having what I wanted was usually a privilege I had to earn, and I thank God I was taught old fashioned values, responsibilities, the importance of hard work, and how to apply common courtesy in my everyday life. I was taught to appreciate what I had, to put others first, and to keep my word. I was taught that “things” are not what is important, but people and loving them are.

I have struggled. I have made mistakes I had to learn from. And I have been beaten down by others even when I didn’t deserve it. I never expected the whole world to pity me because of it or that anybody owed me because of it. I learned to look to God, prayed, and let Him pick me up and carry me through it.

I guess I do come from a different world than yours. In mine, I didn’t make myself a helpless victim. I didn’t make up excuses to not make an effort. And I will never let my girl see herself as a victim either, even though you have helped make her one, because I will teach her to be strong and to know her worth and value. I will teach her that “things” don’t matter, but people do. And I already marvel when I see how strong she has become. With this I also see that she can break your cycle, and that she can one day use this to grow and be a powerful woman who seeks justice for others. I pray she will not use this as an excuse, but instead as fuel. Her seeing both worlds will help her to see that she has a choice. We will continue to show her the better side because she is better, and she has a future.

 

 

 

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Hitting the Glass Ceiling While Wearing Glass Slippers

I was coloring with my favorite little girl one afternoon when she suddenly started asking me the origin stories of some of the better known superheroes. Personally, I love Batman and told her about Bruce Wayne’s tragic loss of his parents and his way cool butler.

She really wanted to know about Wonder Woman.  I only knew a little, but we happened to be going to a friend’s for dinner that night who is a big Wonder Woman fan, so I told her to ask that evening.

That night, she learned about Wonder Woman and watched the pilot episode of the Linda Carter show from the 70’s. By the end of the night she was wearing a replica tiara, bullet proof bracelets, and holding a golden lasso while spinning.

WonderWoman

And she hasn’t stopped since. My little girl IS Wonder Woman, and I’ve become a big fan too. A beautiful, smart, strong, courageous princess who fights for truth, justice, and love. What’s not to love? Or encourage? I could not ask for a better role model in a world saturated with everything I never want my princess to become.

She is a little girl who always favors the female characters, but in her eyes, even Leia couldn’t compete with her curious love of Darth Vader (though Leia has always been a hero to me), and she was still looking for the perfect hero.

But of course, she doesn’t just want to be strong; she wants to be pretty…and a princess. Naturally, she also still loves the Disney Princesses.  We very recently watched the 2015 live-action version of Cinderella, who happens to be one of her beloved princesses.

Now, I know there are arguments out there that these old fairy tale princesses teach young women to be weak and to depend on being saved by their “prince charming,” but I think that just shows a lack of responsibility in teaching our young girls the values and virtues of each of those princesses.  Is Cinderella weak because she has to be whisked away to the castle by her prince? I don’t think so. She was good, kind, and beautiful, and was in the end rewarded for it.

The historic context is the key to making excellent lessons out of these “helpless” princesses.  Our young ladies today need to understand what life was like for women once upon a time, that they were seen as unintelligent property good only for cleaning and having babies. But in these situations, these princesses were strong in the ways they were able to be strong. They were dignified in spite of it, and though women have not quite broken through that glass ceilings around the world, and not even always in the Land of the Free, they gave little girls hope. We cannot discount that today as weak. We should be proud of how far we’ve come. (and let’s not forget the B.A. Mulan, who is based off a Chinese legend)

Princess Diana lived in a land without men, and beyond learning to be strong and to defend herself and what is right physically, her virtues are the same as many of those fairy tale princesses. Many of those values of her femininity are what makes her such an amazing character.

Our little one is not quite old enough that we feel she should see the new Wonder Woman movie yet, but she will one day, and I wonder if she will get goosebumps and tear-filled eyes when Diana climbs up a ladder and rushes through No Man’s Land the way I did. Will she also get goosebumps and tear-filled eyes when Belle (Emma Watson) dances with the Beast in the grand ballroom brought to life…the way I did? I really hope she does.

Heroes don’t have to only be physically strong. A real hero is also emotionally strong, unafraid to show a tender side, and does right, even when it is hard. Mostly, heroes need to stand for something and reflect something we want in ourselves.