Imagine for a second, you are an aspiring soccer player. You buy a soccer ball from the store, and you practice constantly. You kick the ball around the backyard, you go to the parks on weekends. Let’s say two years pass, and you’ve become somewhat decent. Imagine going to the park after a couple years of practice, and then someone taking your ball and kicking you in the stomach– not on accident, but on purpose.
Even though this may sound a litlle dramatic, this is how I felt when someone looked me right in the eye and said, “You’ll never make it to ‘Good Morning America.'” Has someone ever told you that you’ll never make it to your dream job? Of course the mature and reasonable action to take would be to shrug it off and move on. I’m glad to say I have since that comment was made years ago. However, to me it’s like a bee sting. You never forget when it happens, and sometimes you can still feel that sting.
It’s really sad that in this day and age, people from all around the world come to America in pursuit of happiness, to fufill their dreams and the dreams of their families, but this land of dreams has become a place where people still make comments that others won’t reach their dreams. This puzzles me… You can be realistic and tell people that it’s going to take a lot of work to pursure and reach your dream, but to tell someone they’ll never make it… that’s extremely hurtful.
Yesterday my home state of Oklahoma (where I still live) inaugurated the first female governor of our state. That’s remarkable. What if someone told Mary Fallin, “Hey, you’re never going to be govenor… you’re a woman.” That’s not only discriminatory, but it’s also very rude. She did it, she got elected, and it’s possible that just like Mary Fallin… many people out there can pursue their dreams regardless their sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
So, all of this came about from a few conversations I’ve had recently. The common demoninator — negativity. There’s just way too much of it going on. The negativity I want to focus on is compaining, judging and bullying.
Why is complaining in our syntax? I know I’m complaining about negativity, but think about this… We complain that the loud alarm wakes us up… We shouldn’t be complaining, we should be thankful that we have that wonderful gift of hearing– that we are actually able ot hear that alarm. We complain that the walk from the parking lot is too far of a walk, while instead we should be thankful that we have that beautiful gift of walking when so many aren’t so lucky. We complain that we have to go class or school. Well, I for one am truly grateful for my education. It’s helped me out in ways I never thought possible. I’ve met people in the industry, I’ve learned not only academic lessons but lessons that’ll prepare me for the real world, and I’ve met so many great people– which if it weren’t for school… that would’ve never been possible. I AM a proud student of the OU Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications make no mistake of that. There’s just so much to be thankful for, and I think we as a society should retract our complaints with words of positivity.
I just listened to this story on NPR this morning about how this author, Amy Chua, discussed her book about being a Chinese mother. Some of the comments she’s received and other flack’s she’s gotten is that she’s too strict or harsh as a parent. I’m sure a lot of Asian parents can relate. I can relate. Whenever I went to school, my classmates/friends tease about not having “regular childhood experiences” because my parents are “strict.” First, let me say my parents can be a little tougher than most. However, because of the home I was raised in I was able to grow up with tenacity, with passion, fervor, and a love for not only my academic life, but also my family and social life. I have amazing friends and an amazing family, and if my parents didn’t have a sense of discipline or a sense of order, I would’ve never been able to find such great people to surround myself with. So, just goes to show… can never judge a book by its cover… It’s truly what’s on the inside that counts. Which moves me on to my next point…
I have been a victim of bullies. Whenver I first moved to Norman back in 2003, I nicknamed myself the “hacky sack,” because I was kicked around from group to group. However things similar to that have made me stronger. Like the character Kurt from my favorite show “Glee” he’s made being different a great and unique quality about him, not a hindering one.
For my closing I have take it upon myself to take an oath, and I encourage my readers to do the same.
I, Stephanie Pham, hereby solemnly swear to never judge a person based off their race, religion, political affiliation, sex, or any other characterisitc. I will also make a firm effort to complain less or not at all. Instead I will promise to look at the positive side of the situation presented before me. Finally, I hereby with my whole heart promise not to bring others down, not to disrespect, not to intentionally harm anyone’s physical or emotional being. This is my promise, and I hereby will follow it, so help me God.
STEPHANIE L. PHAM