I had this
lovely girl who sat across from me, and I said, "Tell me
about yourself. We're going to be together for 16 weeks in
classes, and I don't want you to be a stranger. You tell me
about you, and then I'll take over and tell you about me."
said, "I don't have anything to say."
"What do you mean? Tell me about all your wonder."
"Wonder?!" And then there was a long pause, and
she said, "Well, I'm too short."
never occurred to me until she told me. And then I thought,
well, I'll counteract with something good. I said,
"Yes, but you're a darn good student. Do you know that
you got an A on your mid-term?"
said, "Sheer luck."
How do you
"But you know that you're unique in all the world. . .
me. I'm not unique," she said. "And besides,
I'm not very good-looking, and not a lot of people seek me
out. And I'm lonely a lot of the time."
to me that if she really believes that she's short and ugly and
stupid and has nothing to contribute, why would anybody seek her
out? Oh, did I work on that one!
walked out, she was four inches taller. And if I ever see
her lean over again, there's going to be hell to pay.
says a wonderful thing. He says, "My life seems like
one long obstacle course, with me as the chief obstacle."
love to mention the book Souls on Fire by Elie Wiesel.
It's a beautiful book, and he makes a statement I really
love. He says that when you die and you go to meet your
Maker, you're not going to be asked why you didn't become a
messiah or find a cure for cancer. All you're going to be
asked is, why didn't you become you? Why didn't you become
all that you are?
no two people in this audience who are alike. Isn't that a
message to tell you--that you are unique and you have something to
say? And isn't it a message that you have a right to say it
before you leave the face of the earth?
have you heard yourself say, "I'm nothing"? You're
nothing if you think you're nothing. . . .
You are a
miracle. You have something to share that nobody else in the
world has. To keep that hidden because of self-defeating
ideas is to die less than you are. Don't let that
happen. Your greatest responsibility is to become everything
that you are, not only for your benefit but for mine.