Self-fulfilling Prophesies

kidsMonday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for his living,
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is blithe and bonny, and good and gay.

—A. B. Bray, Traditions of Devonshire

When we were young children, our parents would tell us that we were smart, hesitant, too thin-skinned, impatient, or cute. We often accepted the labels our relatives gave us before we had a chance to understand the significance of our attributes. When we went off to school, teachers added more: “She is a math genius”; “He will never be able to sing”; “She should grow up and be a nurse.” Many times we added to these imposed attributes by telling ourselves, “I am too shy and will never be able speak in public,” or “My eyes are too small; how can I ever be considered a beauty?” Unfortunately, we have allowed ourselves to grow into some of these false descriptors, and no matter how beautiful we have become or how articulate we are, we have clung to these past characterizations. It is never too late to take an objective look at ourselves and discard these inaccurate assessments so that we can recognize the person we really are.

Know thyself.
—Inscription found on the Temple to Apollo, Delphi, Greece

tapestriesThis post originally appeared in Tapestries: Words of Devotion for the Second Half of Life by Gail Mesplay.

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