I was in a gathering place.

I watched a little girl in a flowery dress walk through the lobby atrium. Her father walked a few steps behind her.

The first thought that came to my mind was: Grow her strong. Don’t release her into the world without a solid, independent underpinning that can understand flattery as well as insult and not be shaken to the core by either.

Make certain:

That she have a strong, capable body gotten through pushing her physical limits early—through intense play and goal setting. Don’t let her be susceptible to being told she can’t do something, because she will know her limits far better than anyone else.

That she not fall prey to reducing her dreams, her unique presence and creativity for reasons of wanting to be liked or loved. Those who love her free and singular being will be the ones worthy of entering—and staying—in her life, for they recognize her truth.

That she not work to diminish another’s value because they are different, as she is different from them. That value isn’t ascribed to a label, color, style or social status, but rather from knowing—personally knowing—an individual’s nooks and crannies not on display.

That she understand lasting beauty doesn’t have anything to do with breasts. That she understand her value is not based on having a man, being married, or bearing children.

That she learn to use all of her strength, intuition, knowledge and wisdom as a vehicle for her creativity and unique expression. That she leave this life better for her having been in it. That she leave the best of herself to inspire others after her.

That she not be dependent on other people’s opinions for her joy. That she understand joy is found in expressing herself truthfully, freely, boldly, without caring how others may wish her to conform to their personal cultures.

Those were my thoughts as I watched father and daughter walk through the atrium together in the gathering place of humanity.

©2017  Shaun E. Rudie

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