Eleanor Roosevelt said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
What a fabulous line. Often we feel inferior to someone who is better dressed than us. I have a friend whenever she is in the presence of her friend Stella Marie who is always designer dressed and hair salon coiffed, she feels she cannot be herself and she must dress up to equal Stella. She feels intimidated by Stella who always looks like she stepped out of Vogue magazine.
Bethany should not feel this way because she always looks to me well dressed and well coiffed herself. Bethany is a marvelous person and quite accomplished in her nursing field whereas Stella works in a decorating store. Her only claim to fame is helping rich people pick out the drapery material and wallpaper rolls to enhance the walls of their new million dollar homes.
Bethany helps people to recover and gives them hope in dealing with their life threatening diseases at the hospital where she works and has been working for twenty-five years.
So Eleanor was right because we are consenting to others to admire us or else we feel intimidated. Many of us feel that way in our ballroom dancing. We feel inferior because someone who has been dancing for twenty-five years looks quite lovely on the dance floor. We are new at it; they think and feel very uncomfortable getting out there and dancing when the experienced couple does their thing.
We should not feel that way. We are competent and will succeed in this love called ballroom dancing. Like my professor told me way back in 1968 when I took my first test at college level at age thirty-three, "Mrs. Clayman, you can and will do better." I did and still do and his words of wisdom inspired me throughout the following forty some years in everything I do and attempt to do.
Do not let anyone take away your desire to dance because they steer your thoughts to defeat. Do not let anyone take away your desire to do anything you crave to accomplish. They are the kind of people who if they cannot do something; they do not want you to achieve it either. You will have attained something they could not and they do not want that to happen to you even though they might claim they are looking after your ‘best’ interests.
They are efficient in making others feel inferior because in reality they are the inferior ones and we are the superior folks because we try. We try even when the times may not be right for starting something new due to finances and the recession. We try and we are winners of the first sort because we went out and did something special for us and our health and our minds and souls.
Valerie Harper was on The Talk today and she is going to train for being on Dancing With The Stars. This is a very arduous and difficult training period to take lessons 7 hours a day, sometimes for 6 or 7 days in a row. It is difficult physically and mentally. I have been through this in my younger years of 43-63 and we amateurs do not take more than one to two hours a day and possibly for only two times a week.
Valerie was diagnosed with brain cancer and she was told in January that she had three months to live. Now it is September, she is here looking lovely and sweet as usual. She has her doctor’s permission to do this grueling activity and she said it is better than sitting around and maybe doing gardening for an hour.
This is what is called good chutzpah and chutzpah means pure gall and determination and bless Valerie for attempting this and to have the spirit to try this. May she be rewarded with lots of remissions and lots of glory in this utmost and rewarding accomplishment.
We are the beneficiaries of doing something for our bodies and our hearts and our overall mental health. Ballroom dancing is very addictive and once we feel the addiction, we are overwhelmed with happiness in looking forward to a new lesson, going to a dance and dressing up in nice clothes where we will be seen by others in the similar situation. You can feel this way about another sport or hobby too.
My grandson was about four when he saw the ceramic shoe on my hallway foyer table in January 2009 he said it was a ‘lost shoe." To him it was a real shoe sitting on the table and he was announcing it to be lost because there was only one. It was an intelligent appraisal of what he saw. Now he is eight and that was quite a grand observation back then.
To you and me as adults, it was an ornament in a foyer put there to look pretty. His assumption was that it had belonged to someone and was sitting there may be waiting to be claimed.
Claim we do when we go out and ballroom dance and reward our recreation time with learning, absorbing and happiness.
We need no claim ticket for the lost shoe because we are not lost. We have found a hobby that helps our health and I mean both physical and mental. When we ballroom dance, our minds are activated into learning and being happy because we are doing something new and fabulous that will lead us in joyful environments.
Nordstrom’s the fine department store had a policy for many years that if your feet were two different sizes, you could buy one shoe from each pair and they would sell you a two sizes pair for the same price as a complete one size pair which is normal. They did this for dozens of years and finally they eliminated it several years ago due to it being cost prohibitive and having a wrong size shoe in two pairs. The gesture to the people who needed this was quite lovely. Maybe this is where I got the ‘lost’ shoe which is residing with us forever.
We are LUCKY because we found this thing that stimulates us and keeps us going in social and daily activities.
Dancing lights a fire under us and fired up we are. The flames are good flames and we become hot and happy.
Eleanor Roosevelt was right when she said no one can make us feel inferior without our consent. We do not consent to inferiority, we consent to superiority because we are exceptional people and we are successful. Sophocles said "success is the reward of toil." Reginald Leach said "You must set yourself on fire." These are all excellent sayings and we can use them to live by.
Eleanor Roosevelt was in person said to be a homely woman, but she had a spark in her personality that would light up a room. She did not let her ‘looks’ deter her into sitting home and doing nothing because others might think her unattractive. She consummated her life with helping others to consummate their life. She fought long and hard for her ideals and her legacy was an excellent one.
The reward of the toil we do in ballroom dancing will make us feel blessed. Blessed with our family, our children, our grandchildren and our hobby-dancing which makes us feel complete.
So setting ourselves with being ‘fired’ up and being honored for our toil makes us special and our compensation is the greatest thing we can reap. No one can make us dancers feel inferior because we are now and forever quite superior in a nice way, not an obnoxious way. Anything I talk about in these articles referring to ballroom dancing can be equated to other hobbies and or sports.
Here is an example that happened to me last night. I called Walmart at their various locations trying to find a Sanyo 26 inch television similar to one I bought two years ago there. I enjoy the first one in my kitchen and now am upgrading one into my office here at home (formerly my daughter’s bedroom) when she lived at home as a child and teen. I found a nice young salesman named Dustin and he walked me through finding a newer version of the two year old one. He explained the different and new items on the present one and he made such an impression on me and they get no commission for doing that. He told me that he works there part time and the rest of his hours are given to being a volunteer fireman. What a fine man he is and I wrote Walmart about him and his courtesy to me and I also called the manager to tell her that too.
It proves that no matter what one does as his job or hobby, he or she can always make it into a vocation of excellence by presenting him or herself as a special individual in a unique way. Eleanor Roosevelt said no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. I say you can make yourself feel and be superior only if you want to, and want to, you should, because then and only then will you attain happiness, delight and fulfillment.
People like Dustin working at Walmart are certainly feeling good about themselves in helping make a sale to a satisfied customer and certainly superior in their actions. Shakespeare said in one of his sonnets “I love two people, one comforts me and one makes me despair”. I do not advise you or me to be in the company of people who make you feel despair. They do not belong in your life.
Never be the one who makes one despair, be the one who comforts, aids and encourages everyone you come in contact with. You will be feeling superior and that surely is delightful and you will have earned the exhilarating feeling.
Try to be like Valerie, attempt something you think you may not be able to do; attempt it and even if you do not finish it, you will have tried and no one can take this away from you, ever.
You are superior and you know it.