Words have so much power. When people feel that you can truly see and hear them, that is where transformation begins. I genuinely believe changing your personal narrative can change your life. Your words may give that gentle encouragement someone needs to keep persevering for a brighter future. Sometimes all you have is hope that things will be better tomorrow. Societal conditioning suggests that people in disadvantaged positions made a series of bad choices in life which lead them into the circumstances they are in now. However, systemic inequities based on demographics and disabilities are many times beyond the understanding of people who make important decisions in those areas. This usually leads to a lack of empathy, validation and adequate material support within the system that is supposed to be designed to help people who need it. It can lead to feelings of helplessness that keep people trapped in a self-defeating cycle that influences generations.
I wonder how many choices I would have had if I grew up like someone less privileged; raised in their dysfunctional families, exposed to their adverse life experiences, their toxic or abusive relationships and their lack of money or opportunities? You learn what is normal by observing those around you growing up; the values, thoughts, belief systems and expectations of life are unconsciously adopted regardless of how inefficient or detrimental they are. It may take a long time to replace this with healthier patterns.
If I catch myself in a moment of judgement, I remember that what appears to be choices are sometimes not really choices. People generally do the best they can with what life gives to them. This passage is a thoughtful reminder to nurture the hopes and dreams of those who are going through times of difficulty. It doesn't matter what happened in the past because it is never too late to change. I will always be grateful to those who saw my potential in my times of testing. They believed in me and who I could become even when very little progress was being made externally. They jolted me out of believing the harsh words of my critics, middle aged people who should have known better but nonetheless were unrelenting in attempting to push me down. The kind words of my supporters still stay with me to this day. With so much harshness in the world, people who feel broken at times in their life need to know that these difficulties only make their stories more inspiring in the end.
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