As I stood at the drinking fountain filling my water bottle that morning a gracious server at the resort said, “Señorita, you don’t have to do that yourself, I will bring you a glass of ice cold water with lemons and cucumber to the ELITE section where your lounge chair is.” Now before I go on I must share that my husband and I were generously gifted a trip to this resort in Mexico. This gift also included the upgraded ELITE status from our kind gift-giver. I have to admit that just using that word elite makes me uncomfortable because it implies that we were somehow "a select part of a group that is superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities" (definition Google Dictionary) .
We were required to wear the signifying ELITE bracelets, use the Special Color Gold towels that are given to the ELITE Members (not Magic Carpet Towels that made my legs suddenly longer, my breast larger, or my IQ higher FYI! ). These special Gold towels were found on the chase lounge chairs in the specially roped off section of the beach marked ELITE ONLY . Yeah,...I know.
My husband, John, turned to me one day as we are reading on these lounge chairs and simply said, "I feel like we are the Star Bellied Sneetches." What?! For a brief moment I had to chuckle as I recalled the story by Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as the famous Dr. Seuss. In that moment, we felt extremely uneasy and somewhat embarrassed, as well as sad.
Theodore Geisel published The Sneetches and Other Stories in 1953. These are coveted and renowned stories of tolerance, diversity and compromise. For those of you who may not be familiar, it is the story of a society who creates a hierarchy unjustly favoring those members who have stars on their bellies as opposed to those who "have none upon thars."
It is 2018, and 65 years since the brilliant Dr. Seuss published this and many other wonderful works that we all remember and relate to. He taught us how to engage with, as well as treat one another kindly through life lessons. It is both confusing and difficult for me that there are still those of us who feel marginalized in ANY way. That individuals can be made to feel less-than, either by others who make themselves 'superior' to them (Star Bellies), or that they do not know their own beauty, unique gifts, nor the value they have, simply because they do not see the Star on THEIR belly as well.
Whether or not we were born with a star our bellies (riches, power, privilege) it is our God given right as individuals to be exactly who we are and how we are. Don't get me wrong, there are many , many days that I wish I were a little different or better than who I am, as we all do. But, every one of us is one in a billion. Hear me when I say, there’s never BEEN another YOU, there ISN'T another YOU, nor will there ever BE another YOU!
The next time you too wish you were taller, richer, smarter, faster, more successful, more this or less that remember , there isn't some Sylvester McMonkey McBean convincing us to somehow assign value to one another or become different than who we are. Just DO YOU.