Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rooting for the Underdog

Underdog - n- dark horse, little chance of winning, succeeding.

One thing about the underdog in this particular story is that he doesn't see himself as such.  In his mind he is the top of his class, the top of his game, the top of the dog pile.  In some regards that is true, he will work at those things that come easy to him, such as athletics.  Confidence is a great asset when it is asserted humbly and with grace.  However, challenge him to work hard in academics, social skills, athletics, common sense, or relationships and it is all over!  He has no preserved problems in these areas.  Because of this his response to any help at all is negative, hostile and out rightly ungrateful. 

In the midst of this lives Sleepy, and she is proof, that even when faced with negativity and with unkindness, she shows a continued love for her dwarf sibling that has the most going against him.  She is his loudest advocate, she is his protector, she is his director, she is showing unconditional love to him every day in every way she can.  While sometimes her methods are perceived as bossy, nosey, rude, and otherwise not appreciated, she is not deterred.   In her heart, she just wants what is best for him. Success. This is the same attitude that she has for all underdogs, but when directed at a relation, often the encouragement comes back bitter and hurtful.  It seems like a no brainer that this dwarf would welcome, the chance to lap up the wisdom and council of a loving, caring, delightful sibling, right?  No way.  He pushes her away, talks about her behind her back, he is rude to her face in front of common acquaintances. When confronted on these issues he clearly articulates to me that he does/says these things, because they make him feel like he is better than her.  When encouraged to make things right with her, he states that it is too hard.  That he knows that he hurts her, but he just can't stop himself. 

“He who throws dirt always loses ground.” Chinese Proverb 

Someday it is my prayer that this dwarf will understand that clearly it would be beneficial for him to repair and develop relationship with Sleepy.   It is also my prayer that Sleepy will not grow frustrated in her efforts to love him unconditionally. 

As her mother, I see her frustration as he responds to her in the negative.  As I work to encouraged her that she can not own his responses, and that she is not responsible for his success or failure, I am challenged to remember that myself.  Most often people fail because they have no one in their life that is advocating for them.  If this dwarf fails, he will have no one but himself to blame as he continues to stand at a distance from a community that is out on the tree limb cheering him on towards success.

If I could encourage Sleepy at all in these days of struggle it would be as follows: Stand tall.  Stand firm, and do not grow weary of doing good, there are lots of underdogs out there and each one will  respond to you differently.  Continue to be bold, to live out loud, and to share your love of life with those around you.  The Prince and I are proud of you, and applaud your efforts in loving the unlovely. 

“There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity.” Nathaniel Branden 

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