I am not public property

Has anyone ever told you, that you don’t deserve something?:

In 7th grade I won student of the month. I was happy for 10 seconds before the crowd of students booed. This was announced in the lunch room.

After lunch I went to my 5th period class where my teacher said congrats and students looked me dead in the face and said “you don’t deserve it”.
I did not ask to be student of the month. It was flattering to be acknowledged for my hard work but I felt ashamed. I felt unsafe to have been put in a position where so many people felt like they could share their opinion with me and actively change the way I saw the world or how the world perceived me. To this day I get fearful of being booed when I am walking up to a podium. I have been spit on, tripped in the halls, and have had food thrown at me. I have also been stabbed.
The only thing I really did in school was be an active participant. I wanted to learn. Civics class was my favorite. I was blown away when I learned about the Bill of Rights and how marvelous it was.
People say crazy things: I went to the nurse and told her what happened. When she reported the student who did it, for three weeks people came up to me and said “X is a great guy. How could you rat on him”.
I was bleeding!
Rely on yourself: I guess I have learned to get by without the acceptance of my peers. It is not ideal but you see the world a little differently when people are actively stabbing you and telling you are disillusioned. Your award is not real.
I plan on betting on myself until the day I die. And for every lifetime after that. My well-being is equally important to yours. I deserve to live, learn, and work in a nurturing space. And so does everyone!
Yes sure we can look at these kids’ behavior and say a variety of things. They could have been jealous. They could have been frustrated for not getting good grades no matter how hard they tried.
I don’t know. What I do know is that I expect adults to behave better than 7th graders.
Networking Blues: It is a best practice in sales and fundraising to get someone else to introduce you. Get a liaison or a buffer for the person you want to network with next.
Lately I have been hanging back and observing. Who is going to be helpful? I have been taught to not be afraid of the no. The worst they can say is no…and you don’t know if you don’t ask.
Today I am not going to talk about the “no” today I am going to talk about all of the negatively and opinions that come with a “no”.
I am not public property. If I ask you for an introduction to someone it is not up to you to tell me that I would be horrible at that job. You can say that you are not comfortable with the introduction without messing with my psyche.
The qualities you see in me might not work for you but those same qualities might be a valuable fit for someone else.
If you want to protect your reputation and not introduce me…well god bless you and good luck.
Who is good with the follow-up? The last conference I went to, the keynote told us that in her experience people often exchange cards and then don’t keep in touch. She told us to be different. She told us we were in a room of extraordinary people and that we should all expand our networks in a real way.
The boundary has been set. We have been encouraged to do something. We heard her cautionary tale. I exchanged business cards with people. I do not expect to make a huge connection with everyone but I am just coming to realize that people do not like networking. They do not want to or have time to include more things in their life. Or people are really narrow-minded any might think you cannot be helpful to them.
I have to say I see connections everywhere. I have helped people rewrite their resume, sent leads for business through the contacts I have, and none of these people are in my industry.
I’m wondering how business development people function if so many people are quick to dismiss your potential “worth” in the networking sense.
My career counselors will tell you that I am a master networker. I have gotten three jobs from attending one gala.
Confusion: If I follow “best practices”, things should click for me, right? I am still puzzled and confused why people are not returning my calls or emails right now.
The Power of “No” reduces stories created by silence: When I attended an electric company’s annual non-profit roundtable the CEO said that he knows that we hear silence more than we hear no. He said that he makes sure at his company, we at least hear the word no instead of wondering. Silence creates story in our minds.
“Do we have to do XYZ to impress them?”
“Well maybe they are just busy or maybe they lost our inquiry so we should send it again”.
The CEO also said that his peers at other companies aren’t brave enough to say no.
For me personally I would rather hear a no so I can keep moving. My prayer of late has been for every wrong door to close. I don’t want to invite chaos in my life and I don’t have the time to be putzing around where I am not going to grow and develop in the best way I can.
Personal appearance is not public property either: Two years ago I was waiting for my kickboxing instructor to enter the gym. While we were waiting a woman came up to me and asked me “what’s wrong with you. Are you sick or something?”
“I am not sick. You are really rude. I don’t even know you and you are indicating something is wrong with me”.
Again I am not public property. Why did she feel the freedom to just blurt out what she was thinking? My appearance is often commented on. Again with the confusion because I think I’m beautiful. But everything gets commented on. My hair, my weight, everything.
Even my career. I was at a baby shower and someone asked me what I did for a living. When I told him I was a fundraiser he said, “why?” You should be at a pharma making a lot of money. At this point he was the 100th person to say something like this. I told him that one of the paths to god in the Gita is through service. I told him that I love what I do and I feel very blessed to be empowering youth.
Thank you for kindness: I am going to take a minute and thank everyone who has ever said something kind to me. I am going to thank you for helping me when I needed it. For appreciating me when you felt it was appropriate. I might not have been able to receive it the right way. I might have felt strange and brushed it off. I might have been overly emotional or excited that you did so. In any case your good deeds have been absorbed just as all of these not so good ones have been absorbed. Good will win. You have planted a seed with me. A seed of light will grow and we will all find our way back to the good stuff. As it is written in Siddartha, “Like the river, everything returns”.
I hope I find peace soon because the rejection is sitting on me like a ton of bricks. I don’t have all the answers yet but I cannot be the only one who is looking.

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