Sunday, January 21, 2007

What she said

Just a quick post to pass on one of my favorite quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt:

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent."

There is real wisdom in those words, from a women who knew what she was about. All her life, because she wasn't a beauty, or because her interests seemed more "manly" than the young women around her, because she was in the public eye, or because her marriage was often painful for her, she had many opportunities to be made to feel inferior. Instead, she became one of the greatest humanitarians of our time.

Why do we allow others to put us down, make us feel small, or belittle us? The only way they can do that is if we give our consent, if we agree with them, and say, "You know, you're right. I'm pond scum."

Don't agree. Don't give your consent. Nobody's perfect, but if someone else is making it their goal in life to make you feel small and inferior, that is their problem, not yours--or at least it should be. People who need to make others feel small are the kind of people you need to ask: "Is this someone I really need in my life? Is this something they should be allowed to get away with?"

If the answer to either of those questions is "no," then you need to put your foot down and say, "No more. I will not allow you to make fun of my dreams or my goals. I won't allow you to belittle my hopes or myself. I deserve respect, just like you, and I won't take any less. Not from you. Not from anyone else."

Think about it. Look what Eleanor achieved by living by these words. Go for it.