Friday, December 28, 2007

The Sooner You Learn It.....

The Sooner You Learn It.... The better off you'll be.

My mother was notorious for saying, "Life is Hard. The sooner you learn it, the better off you'll be." And I now, finally, really appreciate it. I don't think it was what you want or need to hear at a young age, but I do understand it was coming from a mother who wanted me to understand that life was not a bowl of cherries. Contrary to what one might believe, I'm not a pessimist. I used to really worry about what people thought about me or why they didn't like me, and I've learned - it really matters not.

I think about this in the context of the 2008 Presidential election too. I have had some, well intense, debates about who is best positioned to run our government. There is no one who is a perfect mix of all I'd aspire to have, but Barack Obama comes pretty close. My real friends and I talk about real politics. Not the fru fru tea conversations about voting for the female candidate that people have all but ordained in December 07, but the real life conversation about who you want to represent you. There is something to my logic.

When my mother said life is hard - it was always cold to hear. It was the reality I needed to balance some of my tendency to believe that all people would like me, all life would be fair, yadda yadda yadda. I happen to believe that without a quality balance in nature and nurture, one can easily become a bit of a tart. "Why oh why do bad things happen to good people?" They do. Debate the reasoning or fairness as you will, my mother was right. Life isn't always fair. I think of it often when I think about the person I want to lead this country into effective change. I can stand up for my candidate as much as I want to - but life is hard, and all people don't share my enthusiasm. What has to happen - somewhere between realization and action - is that you have to decide, its worth the work for the end result I want.

So, I didn't run for class president - and I regret that I was so locked with fear that I didn't do it. Simultaneously, I became active in extracurricular activities, broke out of my shell in college and began to lead the life that I have today. Unapologetic for my choices and my values, I am the person I aspired to be at that time. *Well I'm still a work in progress, but I think you get my point. I want to vote for someone who can hear the hard words, get the harsh criticism, use what they've learned, and apply it to lead a country we can be proud of. I'd rather not support the silent mastermind of harsh words - as she quips about the latest polls of why women as a whole don't like her. Women know women. We know harsh words and the deep seeded insecurity that can easily unleash them. It's one thing to have harsh words, in a context of all the things you are trying to teach and communicate. (Thank you mother.) It is quite another to polish harsh words for a living, because you've spent your entire life planning to lead the free world. I wish some of her friends had offered her more harsh words.

I think all of the candidates need a little bit of my mothers frank spirit to guide them. Get over how hard life is, and work harder. Not to be all that someone else expects for you to be - but because we are all closer to our destiny when we are true to ourselves. Harsh words can be translated into a catalyst for being all that we aspire to be. I think someone in Obama's past must have unleashed that on him too.

Wondering about other harsh words that have touched a life? Visit the ladies across the way and share your thoughts too.

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