The Pursuit of Happyness

“Others may question your credentials, your papers, your degrees. Others may look for all kinds of ways to diminish your worth. But what is inside you no one can take from you or tarnish. This is your worth, who you really are, your degree that can go with you wherever you go, that you bring with you the moment you come into a room, that can’t be manipulated or shaken. Without that sense of self, no amount of paper, no pedigree, and no credentials can make you legit. No matter what, you have to feel legit inside first.” – Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness

I am a big fan of the movie The Pursuit of Happyness. It helps that I am also an even bigger fan of the actor Will Smith. If you have never seen the movie or read Chris Gardner’s book I highly recommend putting it on your must watch, and read list. Be prepared though, it will make you cry.

I raised daughters, no sons. My one demand, if you will, while raising daughters was that my dog(s) had to males. It was just a thing, neutered or not. I needed another “male” in the family and that was as close as I was going to get to having a son.

One of the things I learned about raising daughters was how important self-esteem was to their self-worth and how there were others out there (read: mean girls) who made it their mission to try to tear them down. Glasses, braces, height, weight, long hair, short hair, you name it, someone, somewhere is going to find something to make fun of a 14-year-old girl. My kids were very fortunate to have strong role models to turn to, to love them and support them. A mother comfortable with who she is. Grandmothers they saw a lot of who were quick with hugs. Aunts that loved them like they were their own children.

What I learned through my children is that people who want to bring you down do it not necessarily out of hate or meanness but out of an insecurity about their own lot in life. And as I have discovered, those mean girls, and bullies don’t really grow out of this behavior as adults. I am sure you know one, the gossip, the lady who has all the dirt on everyone else while her own family situation is a train wreck. Or the guy that picks on everyone but always adds “you know I’m just kidding” or my favorite “don’t be so sensitive”. Turn the tables on that guy and see what happens!

I always reminded my children that if being popular required them to diminish others then they needed to be something else. Our self-worth, or importance isn’t worth stepping on the backs of others. I realize we don’t want to be the doormat for the guy in the cubicle next to us to wipe his feet on. But the only way he can is if we empower him to do so. Don’t play their game, don’t be thin-skinned, sticks and stones. Remember, like a lion, the bully tries to find the weakest, slowest gazelle to attack first.

Maybe you aren’t tall enough or skinny enough. Maybe your college degree isn’t prestigious enough but The Pursuit of Happyness is about finding the “enoughs” in your life that will make you whole and contented. There are plenty of “enoughs” there, I promise and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

“Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions.” – Harvey Mackay

About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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8 Responses to The Pursuit of Happyness

  1. Very well said! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re right; this is a terrific movie. Highly recommend it for everyone. One of Will’s best.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jsant1214 says:

    Great advice! 👍🏻 thanks for sharing 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patty says:

    You are on ‘a roll’ again lately…indeed great advice!

    Liked by 1 person

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