we all need to grow a thicker skin to succeed

Dang, people are sensitive these days…

The other day I ran across an article on Yahoo! which had an anchor “fighting back” to what she referred to as “bullying” sent in to the station by a viewer.

Here’s what the letter said:

Hi Jennifer,

It’s unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn’t improved for many years. Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Now I ask you, in what language is that “bullying?”

A friend on FB had this to say about it, ” He didn’t make fun of her. He pointed out the shortcomings of her weight and body type as an on air personality. He didn’t degrade her. He didn’t call her names or make suggestive comments.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I’ve been bullied. I know people who have been bullied and this ain’t it.

To consider this bullying demeans what real bullying is.

I can think of a hundred words that could be construed as bullying when we’re talking about weight…none of them nice. In fact, they’re downright nasty.

Heck, the writer here didn’t even use the word “fat.”

“Reconsider,” when was the last time a bully asked you to do that?

Bullying is a form of hatred. It pulls no punches (no pun intended) and its single focus is to hurt.

To me, the writer shows genuine concern for the lady in question.

But then again, maybe I’m crazy.

It just seems that people seem to be taking things way too far these days.

One wrong word here or there and people are up in arms.

After all, isn’t “to err is human?”

I remember my father telling me that he was glad he lived in Asia as he was afraid he might be sued for sexual harassment in the US for his use of such words as “sweetheart” and “honey” in the office on somewhat of a regular basis.

He meant nothing by them, but he had grown up with them as being endearing…today they are grounds for dismissal.

Unfortunately, by forcing people to remove relatively harmless words, we are forcing people to be on edge at every moment with people of the opposite sex. One wrong move and out you go.

While I understand the reasoning behind it, I feel a little sad that we have become so sensitive.

Back in college I ran into some trouble myself simply using the word “stupid.”

People would tell a joke that didn’t make me burst out laughing, but it did get a chuckle as it was meant to be silly. I suppose I could have said, “silly” but chose to go with “stupid” to which I often got the reaction, “You think I’m stupid?” thrown back in my face.

I was like, “You’re kidding me, right?” He had just told a silly joke and I was chuckling…so how on earth could you construe my choice of words as being so negative.

It happened so often that I just gave up trying to explain myself and kept quiet.

I just didn’t get it.

I didn’t say, “You’re stupid.” Nor did I say the word with any venom. But in today’s society words have taken on a whole new level of power.

Harmless words now are being taken out of context and twisted to create whatever image people desire.

The last time I checked I still thought America was a free country.

Why am I bringing this up here when this blog deals with success?

Simple, success brings with it its detractors. You’ll be amazed how many “friends” you’ll make when you strike it rich.

You’ll also get those people who want to take it away from you; some out of spite, some out of jealousy.

Success brings with it its own challenges which is why we all need to develop a stronger skin to deal with the trials and tribulations of life.

True success is far from easy. It takes work, it takes dedication and it takes guts.

When people are making mountains out of anthills, as I feel this anchor was, it says they are weak and can’t handle criticism.

In the real world you will face put-downs, failures, pain, loss, bankruptcy, liars, thieves, racism, hatred and so much more.

Not to think so is naive.

You can either try and change the world, or you can change yourself. The latter being the easier and far less frustrating path.

Part of our world is negative, regardless of what some positive thinkers say.

And while I understand the power of positive thinking that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared for all the negativity out there.

My son is only 4 so he constantly asks me things such as “Why is so-and-so a bad boy?” “Why are people naughty?” (usually referring to people throwing garbage away on the street)

He doesn’t realize what we all know, that some people just aren’t nice.

The question we must ask ourselves is how are we going to deal with such situations.

We could blow things out of proportion…but what good would that do. Most people never change.

Instead we need to focus on how we can live a better life. And having a tougher skin sure does make that easier.

Adrian Shepherd

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