Mothers teach their daughters how to become young women by example. There are simple things like teaching them to braid their hair or tie their shoelaces, but there are other lessons that are more complex than elementary hygiene and safety. I am not an expert on how to live the perfect life, (If there is such a thing.) but as I have aged, my experiences and observations of others have taught me that there are behaviors capable of leading you in the direction to becoming a happy, compassionate person. So, to my daughter I would say the following.
You are an intelligent young woman. Do not “dumb yourself down”, or compromise your values to fit in with the crowd. Caving-in to others’ opinions just because they are popular shows a lack of respect for yourself. Examine all sides before deciding what is right for you. Knowledge is empowering and individuality makes you more interesting.
Do not let others define you or determine your capabilities. Only you know your own heart and strength.
You are beautiful for who you are. Don’t let a societal version of beauty make you question your value. Everyone is different and is exquisite in their own way.
We are all human, and as such, make mistakes. It is a sign of character to admit when you are wrong. Saying I’m sorry can bring healing and a sense of peace.
Love is something you give, not demand. You cannot force someone to love you. Do not expect someone else to make you happy, that is something you have to do for yourself. Sharing your happiness with someone else is a bonus.
Most importantly, it is never too late to follow your passion. Life gives us obstacles. You just need to learn to jump higher.
*Thursday, March 8, 2012, International Women's Day.*