The famous words of Sheree of Real Housewives of Atlanta.
I think that many of us should adopt this as a mantra. If you want to come up with a more sophisticated version, I understand, but this one suits me perfectly.
I feel like a broken record talking about how important I think it is for people to be free to express themselves. We are individuals. Our differences are beautiful. We can’t and shouldn’t have one uniform way of thinking, dressing, acting, etc. That would be boring. Then, there would be absolutely no real reason to meet new people because they’d all be just like you and we’d sit around banging our heads into walls because we are dying of boredom and it would be even more frustrating when we realized that we were all banging our heads in perfect synchronization.
In my observations of life during my short time here on this earth, I have gathered that we hate to see people who are different. Not even just different from us, but even different from themselves (or their former selves). We constantly hear people throwing things out like “You’ve changed” as if it were an insult.
Um, people are supposed to change. We don’t see twenty year-olds walking around barefoot and shirtless with diapers on. Change is good. Growth is good. Admittedly, some people do change for the worst but we’ll save that for another day.
My point is, we have to give people room to grow and be themselves and learn who they are and what they want and don’t want. We have to give people room to learn the value of themselves and what they have, even if it means them making mistakes. We have to let people go and grow.
We, especially among the black community, have a horrendous case of crabs in a barrel syndrome. We pull each other down when we should be building each other up. If everyone spent his/her time trying to be their best- not the best, then there would be no room for jealousy and envy. How can you knock somebody else’s hustle when you’re too busy working on your own?
In fact, my advice to anybody dealing with crabs (get your mind out of the gutter) is to cut them loose. You simply cannot succeed if you surround yourself with people who who only want to stifle and suffocate you. Change your circle. Change your influences. Birds of a feather really do flock together. So if you want to change your feathers you have to join a new flock.
Last night on Oprah’s Life Class, Bishop T.D. Jakes made the statement “Greatness is contagious”. Then he went on to elaborate (I’m roughly paraphrasing) saying that you can’t just hang around people who withdraw from you but who never deposit. You need both in your life. If you’re in a room where you are the smartest, most talented, wisest person then you need to change rooms. You need to be somewhere you are motivated and inspired and can draw form others’ greatness.
So don’t allow people to trap you. Don’t allow people to make you feel bad about trying to be your best or improve yourself. Surround yourself with people you want to be like because, essentially, you are who you hang out with. Be it bad or good. There is nothing wrong with changing and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. A wise woman once told me that it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. So do what YOU want. No one else is responsible for your happiness. Make conducive choices toward becoming who you want to be.
And if you are one of those permanent discouragers who always has something negative to say, get rid of the bitter beer face and go do something that makes you happy. I promise, it will make all the difference. 🙂