I have to admit, after seeing her photo from this article, I initially thought, “pretty girl, but why is she so skinny? Is she not eating?”.
Yep, I succumbed to the expected, but deadly reaction. After reading the article and hearing (watching) the HuffPost/YouTube video, all initial impressions that I had was quickly obliterated. I felt a little stupid for falling for the trap, but I also feel thankful for the reminder that I sometimes take certain things for granted.
Lizzie Velazquez’s story is very inspiring. Being born with a rare disorder and fighting to be as normal as possible, she had to deal with “bullying” for a major part of her life. But her outlook on her life is very thought-provoking and if one analyzes deep enough, could be used as a lesson in everyday life.
One of the things she said that resonates to me: “I’m going to let my goals and my success and my accomplishments define me, not my outer appearance”. Whenever I’m networking or in a conference, I sometimes forget that I have all these accomplishments to back me up. I sometimes get tongue-tied whenever I have the chance to speak with an individual. Worse, I always think that I have nothing to say to this stranger.
So what did we learn from this?
a. Never Assume – there’s always something to talk about with a stranger.
b. Never Judge – always see the whole picture beforehand.