Sorry about the lame post Monday. I promise I am back and good health and ready to go!
Today is about the truth of ourselves and what people too often see as the truth. They can be two different things depending on what a person admires in another. Think of your favorite celebrity or role model. What are the things that raise them up in your eyes?
I wonder what those role models think. Whether they are an actor, artist or writer, do they know whether their work is valued more than their money? Do the things you and others admire them for actually matter to them?
The following poem was written on January 7th, 2005. I was a 14-year-old freshman in high school.
The Greatest to be Admired
I am a person of many great things.
In that case, I am nothing,
For the things we see as great in this world,
Aren’t as important as they may seem.
If you are one to call me great,
Only for my possessions or the money I make,
Then you look up to the nothing in me,
The dark side that threatens all humanity.
So if you find this to be the truth,
Please, look for someone else,
for I am not the one you seek.
But if you are one who see me for my soul,
The words I write and the stories I’ve told,
The congratulations, you’ve found the best.
Now look inside to find the rest.
This poem bodes well for young TK. Look at the confidence she’s gained in herself! Writing has always been a therapeutic actions for me. During moments where I am particular angry or sad, I will often write out my emotions, finding they make more sense that way. The things I write and the stories I tell are my soul, exposed for all to see. That is my truth. When someone reads those therapeutic words, my poems or any of my other works, they experience what I have to offer the world. Those works are who I am.
Throughout grade school, popularity was determined by two things: money and athletic ability. If you had at least one of those things (but preferably both) life was easy. Sports were huge in my small town and anyone who could bring our team to victory was held up above the others. Money was just as important because, all too often, the students that rose athletically above the rest were the ones who could afford to attend expensive athletic camps during he summer. My brother into that trap. He loves sports and was actually quite good at football. However, many of his teammate had attended these camps, and they appeared to be given preferential treatment, even during practices.
Of course, people like their stuff, too. Sometimes, I felt bad for those in the popular cliques. I didn’t feel like their friends were really that close to them. They were close to the money they threw around and the parties they held. In a way, both athletic ability and money may have been just as much an escape for those popular kids as drugs, alcohol and sex was for so many others. People admired them and made them feel loved if only they threw a ball or flashed some big dollars. I’m sure that’s an addicting feeling during.
Now, athletic ability might very well be the truth of someone’s soul if that’s what they are passionate about, but what about kids like my brother. Sports was his life, his truth as a teenager, but did anyone see? All they knew is that he didn’t attend an expensive sports camp. I wonder about those other kids. Did people see them for their athletic ability, or for the money their parents spent on the camp?
This isn’t about telling people what they should and shouldn’t admire in others, though. It’s about how we value ourselves. When everyone around us tells us we should be proud of something we find insignificant, how does that change us? How does it affect self-esteem to have the qualities, activities and passions most important to you disregarded?
People will admire what they want, but I think we should push to get our truths recognized. No matter what people consider your more admirable quality to be, you know the parts of yourself that are most important. You know what makes you the most proud. Don’t let the world fool you into thinking something else is somehow more important or more valuable.
Do you think self-esteem can be damaged when the qualities they are most proud of are ignored or belittled? What advice would you give someone who felt like their passion was being belittled? What is the truth of your soul? What qualities or creations do you hope you are remembered for when you leave this world?