People make choices. Oftentimes, the decisions that people make are determined by the different circumstances that they are under.
My lived experiences and others’ life stories have REALLY made me look at the limits of human capacities differently; whether or not the saying, such as if we can dream it we can achieve it, is just an unrealistically brainwashing mechanism that we deploy when we are immaturely innocent as citizens of this world, who are with a certain amount of privileges.
Not too long, I heard a statement on subject of being humble, made by a famous Canadian gossip blogger, Elaine Lui, of which made a big impression on me. In Elaine’s opinion, people, who are told and taught to be humble, are usually the ones that come from privileged backgrounds. Those, who are at the bottom of the social and financial hierarchies, who have to serve tea and wash others’ linens, don’t have the time to be occupied with manners; in particular, with the idea of being humble, because they have mouths to feed and are simply doing their job.
People, who do not come from a resourceful family, have a better understanding of the true reality from a young age. Hence why many of them examine the world through a pair of realist lenses, and hence why though they are aspired to greatness; however, they do not set their bar way too high to begin with. They refrain from tossing saying, such as if we can dream it we can achieve it, around so casually, because, in their own lives, they have known and are fully well aware of the limitations of human capacities.
“If you can’t fly, then run,
If you can’t run, then walk,
If you can’t walk, then crawl,
but whatever you do,
you have to keep moving forward.”
–Martin Luther King Jr.
When Dwight D. Eisenhower was eight or nine, he wanted to go trick or treating on Halloween. Unfortunately, his mother didn’t allow him to. As a result, he threw a temper tantrum, and punched a tree in the front yard. He punched it so hard that skin on his fingers was torn apart.
Eisenhower’s mom sent Einsenhower to his room, had him cry for an hour, later came to his room, and recited a verse to Einsenhower, which had a profound impact on his whole life.
“He that conquereth his own soul is greater than he who taketh a city.”
It was sixty years later that Dwight D. Eisenhower revealed that particular verse taught him two important life lessons: The first one was humility, which was not thinking holy of oneself; rather, a radical self-awareness from a distance. It was the ability to see one’s strengths also weaknesses; the second lesson that Eisenhower learned was the essential drama of life was not the external climb to success; rather, the internal confrontation against one’s weakness. And every decision one made turned that core self into something slightly higher or slightly lower.
Have you ever been told that you are too ugly for something particular that captures your heart? Maybe not… maybe not in such a harsh language. That being said, I think that all of us have been told by some stranger, families, friends, even our inner self, at some point of our lives, that we are not good enough to realize a dream that matches our heart’s desire. What do we do then after being reminded unexpectedly of our “incompetency”? Some of us may give up on our imagination; some may become content with a life of mediocrity; and some may continue to forge ahead and persevere even if the destination of whatever adventure that we have determined to embark on seems million miles away.
I came across this repost, a paragraph written by Meryl Streep, last night on Facebook. Her words of confession were inspiring and resonating with every string in my heart.
Whoever judges us on face value, and says we are not good enough for something that we are after wholeheartedly is just “one opinion in a sea of thousands.” If we keep on believing in someone else’s bias naively, we will be drowned in time by smallest tide that nature has ever produced. The ocean is vast and full of richness and wonder. We never know what the next tide may bring. In times of rejection, let’s force ourselves to stand up straight in order to let the smallest tide pass by our feet unaffectedly.
Memory is only one version of the truth about a life.