A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion.” Chinese Proverb
One of the greatest accomplishments a modern woman can hope to achieve is the ability to stay true to herself. There are constant onslaughts by the media, employers, family members, spouses, fashion gurus, counsellors, psychologists, teachers, politicians, universities, social media, clergy, friends, coworkers, and the little voices in one’s head that begin talking at 2:00am that try to tell us how to think, how to act, what to say, what not to say, how to be, what to believe….that is can be a monumental challenge to celebrate who we are individually and to stay true to ourselves.
That is not to say that we should ignore common sense. I have been working on enhancing my soft skills and my inner Eliza Doolittle for many years. I come by it naturally. My inner Madame de Stael or Mary Wollstonecraft has been difficult to quash. But I understand, in certain circumstances, that my natural self can be a hindrance and should be tamed. No doubt in the 18th or early 19th Century I would have been labeled and denigrated as a bluestocking if I’d been fortunate enough to be part of a salon.
Despite the difficulties it is important to maintain the substance of who I am, who you are, who we are and refuse to compromise to please others. There is so much pressure from public opinion to think a certain way, vote for a particular candidate, react predictably, embrace truths that others believe one should embrace, or agree with a certain ideology. But I will not compromise my inner soul or being because others disagree with me, think I am somewhat strident or opinionated or goofy or brash or cerebral or Libertarian. And it is okay.
Like Popeye said: I yam what I yam.
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