This morning, as I browsed my Facebook account, I saw a link to a video entitled “Labeled as the world’s ugliest person, Lizzie Velasquez stands up for herself to teach this world something!” World’s ugliest person? Must be another victim of bullying, I thought. I watched it out of curiosity, but googling her right after and writing this now are results of a touched soul.
Lizzie Velasquez is a 25-year old American who has a very rare condition. Her body’s small and extremely thin. She isn’t anorexic but she doesn’t gain weight. She’s visually impaired. All these make her appearance very unusual. But her illness is not what made me cringe. It is her optimism, her courage, her wide sense of appreciation, her family, her strength, her voice, her eye, her heart, her faith, everything but her disease.
We, people with normal appearances and not struggling from any form of illness, should be shameful. Look at her; Despite the stares of strangers wherever she goes and teasing of her schoolmates throughout her school life, there she stands in front of people, joyfully sharing her life story and encouraging everyone not to let others’ criticisms define us. How about us? We get too irritated for a simple flaw. We tend to be embarrassed over every little negative part of us. We worry about the petty things, when those are the least that we should think of.
“I used the people who are telling me that I couldn’t do this, to motivate me. I used their negativity to light my fire, to keep going. Use that. Use that negativity to make your life better because I guarantee you, you will win.”
She speaks as if nothing has gone wrong in her life. She thinks as if not a bit of negativity has ever crossed her path. She acts as if no one has ever mocked her. Her strength is inexplicable, and it’s clearly because of the perpetual love and support her parents have been showering her since the day the doctor told them about her inevitable condition. I may be in no position to thank them, but if this blog ever reaches Mr. and Mrs. Velasquez, I want to let them know that I am so grateful for their courage. Your daughter’s tender heart is the evidence of how wonderful you are as parents and enough reason as to why God chose you to become her mother and father. (And why I am envious. Kidding. Partly.)
I am one of the fortunate people who were given the chance to listen to one of her talks. Those few minutes struck me deep. She reminded me that I should look at what I have, not at what I don’t. I realized that I should be more confident about myself; At times I should be deaf to the criticisms of the world and just walk my way to my destination. Most of all, I learnt that it is what you think and how you feel about yourself that will define you. Now, I am more than ready out there and face the world. Thank you, Ms. Lizzie. You are a very wonderful person, inside and out. ❤