Friday, August 12, 2011
You have probably seen the book around. As a Flight Attendant, I see numerous passengers perusing the pages of this Best Seller and decided to pick up a copy after several glowing reviews. Boy oh boy am I glad I did! I am only half way through the book, but have devoured every word as I read.
This past Wed. was my 7th wedding anniversary and since I was stuck in Portland without my beloved Hubs, some of my sweet housemates and I ventured downtown for lunch and a movie. We had all been excited about seeing The Help (well, not so sure that Ryan the 26 year old hottie pilot was excited, but he was a good sport!) so that's exactly what we did. We all LOVED the show. I adore this movie.
I took my Hubs today to see it (yep, that's twice for me) and it was even better the second time! Without giving too much away (I HATE when people do that...just sayin') I wanted to share a few things that touched me.
The story is about the lives of black maids, circa the early 1960's, in Jackson, Mississippi and how they raise numerous white children while someone else has to raise their children while they work. Abileen is one of the main characters. In the show, she is the maid for a young mother who has very little attachment to her pudgy yet adorable and sweet toddler named Mae Mobley (such a darling name, in my opinion). As oppressed and overworked as Abileen is, she is totally resigned to her position in life. She knows that this is all she can really hope to be and she takes her job very seriously.
But most of all, she LOVES and adores Mae Mobley and is genuinely concerned that the little one grows up to be a good girl and NOT become emotionally detached, even devoid like her mother. Several times throughout the movie, Abileen gets right on down to Mae Mobley's level, takes her pudgy little cheeks in her hands and tells her the following (as the little girl repeates her words): "You is kind, You is smart, You is important".
I was absolutely touched at the simplicity of those words and how important they had become to this innocent little girl. I got teary when she repeated them back. It melted my heart.
After the credits, those words played over and over in my mind. I thought of the sheer power a mantra like that can have in someone's life if they truly believe and trust in the words. We live in a world rife with so much negativity and I truly believe that the majority of problems with people are the result of a low self-esteem. I have suffered with that very issue throughout my life and battle esteem issues regularly.
Don't get me wrong, I have wonderful, amazing parents who did their best and instilled in us values, morals and helped us with our self-esteem, but I can't help but wonder how much I would have benefited and how different my life would have been if I had had someone look me in the eye and have me repeat, "I is kind, I is smart, I is important" everyday of my early childhood.
I see a huge lack of good self esteem in so many teens. Many are searching for their "identies" and most rebel against any kind of authority. Many hate themselves and many hate the world. It's so sad as I see many who are "bought" by their parents when all the kids really and truly want is time and even discipline with their parents (though they would never admit it). They have all the latest electronic gadgets, the hottest designer jeans, shoes and whatever else, but they have very little on the inside reminding them of their innate goodness. It breaks my heart.
So now I have a new resolve to really remind all of my *Littles* how special they really are. They are and will be facing challenges that I never could have imagined at their tender ages and the better they think of themselves, the stronger they will be. And like my *Littles*, I need to be reminded that I too is kind, smart and important...