Watching Ted Talks is part of my daily routine. I love listening to the great personalities speaking and sharing their experience and somewhere down the lanes of my city of dreams, I dreamt to grow up like one of them.

Recently, I came upon a Ted Talk by Lizzie Velasquez. Nobody till date had moved me and motivated me more than the Lizzie.

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Lizzie has a rare syndrome that blocks her body from storing fat. She is 23 years old but just weighs 50 pounds. The cause of the syndrome is yet to be identified, let alone the cure and only two other people apart from her have the same syndrome.

Lizzie had always been the little kid at school and she was subjected to an enormous amount of stares and bullying. When she was born, the doctor told her parents that their daughter would never be able to gain weight, never be able to speak or walk and never be able to accomplish anything. But her parents decided to take her home and give her all the love and care that any child of theirs would deserve.

Lizzie grew up like a regular kid and her parents never made her feel any different from other kids. Lizzie had no idea that she looked different from most kids. But she was filled with horror on her first day of kindergarten when nobody would be her friend because they were scared of her. She never let anyone know how bad it was for her being picked on and she would cry alone. Her world came crashing down when she found a video posted on YouTube calling her the world’s ugliest woman. Think of how you would feel? That was not all. The video had over a million views with people posting hateful comments under it. How can people be so indecent and shameless? How can a girl ask a fellow girl to kill herself because she is ugly?

I hate to admit it but if I were in Lizzie’s position, I would have never been able to recover after such a horrific incident. I would have never been able to come out of my room and face other people. I would have never lived life.

But that is the road many people would have taken. Lizzie chose the road not taken and less travelled by. She challenged that negative video into positive energy and inspired herself to stand up against those people and ended up becoming one of the worlds’s most sought after motivational speaker and the writer of two books with a contract for her third book up her sleeves! Her books are called “Be Beautiful- Be You” (that’s where I stole my article title from!) and “Lizzie Beautiful.”

You may not have suffered from the syndrome as Lizzie’s but you have endured what she went through in your life, and sometimes to a greater degree. That should never stop you from trying to be who you really are. Today, trying to be who you are is really difficult with the world constantly trying to make you something that you are not. You have to be real courage to face the world and tell it to mind its own business.  Ralph Waldo Emerson correctly points out “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

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Let’s face some reality now. Imagine you belong to a middle class Indian family and have built up dreams to become a VJ. You are having dinner with your big family and you just casually let them know that you wish to pursue VJying as a career. Well, you just dropped the bomb! First, there would be complete silence followed by your father and numerous uncles trying to point out what a bad career you have chosen. Finally you give up and go to some engineering college against your will and eventually you become old and die.

But does it have to be like that at all? Well I am not asking you to have a fight with your family and leave your home and do all that. Well no. By the time you have realized that you want to be a VJ, you must have also realized that your family might be a little disappointed. Well you can make them understand that your passion lies in it then fair and square you get to be a VJ! But what if your family is still pinned down on their point that your career path is disappointing then I suggest you do nothing that would hurt your family. Listen to what they say, go to an engineering college if you have to but never give up on your dream. Keep pursuing your passion. Take classes and professional help to be good at it. And when you finally nail it and have made a great career out of your passion, tell your family that they were wrong. The thing that you love doing can lead you to a position far better than pursuing something that your heart never agrees to.

 

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