Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Turning Point...

Back in eleventh grade of high school, I was the new kid. There I sat in English class, front and right-justified near the classroom door, with a dream to have a group of girls circle around me to ask me my name, to ask who did my hair, to dig further and ask where I bought my new jeans. Instead, I watched in horror as the strangers sidestepped me and carried on without me as if I were nothing more than another desk that sprouted up overnight. Class started several minutes late, and by this time, my throat had dried up, my confidence had shattered, my ego deflated to a mere lining. Then, because of my ill-thought out decision to sit at the head of the very first row, my new teacher asked me to open up the reading. There I sat, book in hand, ready to make my debut and instead of my voice smoothing out, some strange, labored breaths cranked and wrestled my words. My heart raced like a bucking bronco, my hands convulsed into fit of trembles, and for the love of God, I forgot how to read.

A panic attack. I looked to my teacher for rescue and he just stared at me, perplexed, eyes squinting, mouth agape. I wanted to punch him. Finally, the girl sitting directly behind me saved me by picking up where my words garbled and seamlessly serenaded the class with her beautiful, calm reassured voice. That girl became one of my best high school friends, and unknowingly years later, became my inspiration for majoring in public speaking as a college undergrad.

Challenges don’t plow us over to weaken us. They do so to help us grow.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Little White Lie...

The white lie: It’s wrapped in purity. It’s told for the greater good. It’s forgivable, acceptable. And, when it stays hidden, it’s the perfect escape out of what could be a disastrous telling of truth. I heard that the average person lies five times a day. I’m assuming these are white lies to help get them through those sticky situations that could otherwise turn real ugly, real fast. Like for instance, when I told a fellow passenger on an airline flight that her paranoia about crashing wasn’t at all bothersome for the four hours we sat next to each other; or when I told my hair client that her shampoo hadn’t come in for her on time because the shipment was late, not in fact because I failed to order it. See none of these lies, if revealed, would crack open a crevice and swallow someone whole. So, I take these as community service type fixes that keep us all together, functioning as a spirited group of human beings.

I think where most of us get into trouble, is when we lie about things that, if not revealed, continually tend to threaten and undermine who we are as a friend, daughter, mother, and lover. They burden us, whether we’re aware of it or not, and can stunt the beauty of realized potential, progress and growth.

Lying has its place, its occasion, its reason for being called into action. It can be as innocuous as a pen or equally as dangerous.