How Jenny Overcame Low Self Esteem

Do you like this story?

I love the story of the ugly duckling. For some reason a cygnet, or baby swan, found herself amongst a flock of ducklings. The reason she was called ugly was because she was a swan, not a duck. She was different. She was unique.

What a terrible thing it is to watch humans calling other people ugly simply because their skin is a different colour, they have a different religion, their hair is red or curly or because they speak in another tongue. There is nothing in this world that God created that’s ugly, because after He created everything He always saw that it was good.

The Pink Cat’s-Eye Glasses

Jenny’s mother would always tie her hair into two ponytails and for some reason her hair always looked greasy. She was quite chubby and to add to her ‘good looks’ she wore pink cat’s-eye glasses and had the unfortunate disposition of having to wear a patch over one of the lens. Why? Because she had a ‘lazy’ eye.

Year after year she would tell her mother that she couldn’t see out of one eye, but all her mother would say was, ‘Oh well,’ or some other such thing that parents tend to say when they’re not really listening. Jenny’s ‘lazy’ eye was finally discovered when she was seven years old and what made it worse was that she overheard the eye doctor saying to her mother, ‘If we had found this when she was little, it wouldn’t have been so bad’.

At first, Jenny found it very humiliating wearing glasses, especially with a patch. All of a sudden her classmates started calling her some horrible names. She knew that sticks and stones could break your bones and that names weren’t supposed to hurt you, but those words still stung. Before getting glasses she had plenty of boyfriends, but now that she wore glasses the boys didn’t want to know her.

Those glasses sure presented some challenges in the years to come. There was one day when she was playing netball in the goalkeeping position. Her mother had insisted that she should wear her glasses at all times and Jenny, ever obedient, was standing directly under the goal, looking up, when the ball slipped through her fingers and landed smack bang in the middle of her glasses. They snapped in two and while holding the two pieces in horror in her hands, she burst into tears.

Leslie Longwood was the school bully. She was in Jenny’s older brother’s class and because he was away a lot in hospital she wanted to know why. Her parents had sworn Jenny to secrecy. No one was to find out the real reason her brother didn’t come to school and why he was in hospital so much. So, because she wouldn’t tell Leslie anything, the bully promptly took her glasses and ran away with them. She threatened to keep them until Jenny told her where her brother was. Once again the tears flowed from her little eyes and fear struck her heart. Leslie Longwood was not one to mess with.

Jenny wore those cat’s-eye glasses until she was 12 and on reaching that age the doctor declared that her eyes would never improve, even if she kept wearing them. She only needed this statement to decide that she would no longer wear glasses ever again. Eyeglasses had, through all the years of embarrassment and torment, come to represent unhappiness and ugliness to her.

For Every Ugly Duckling There Is A Beautiful Swan

But here is Jenny’s discovery now that she is an adult…

‘I have come to realize that the ugliness I felt was based on a series of unfortunate circumstances. Just because I felt ugly and was treated as ugly didn’t mean that I was ugly at all. Ugly is a state of the inward man and the inward woman. It is a thought and not necessarily a reality.

I do not pass judgment or blame on any one in particular, but through it all I have realized that for every ugly duckling there is always a beautiful swan. For every negative there is a positive.’

The ugly duckling was in fact not ugly at all. It was simply different, just like Jenny was with her cat’s-eye glasses and the patch over her eye. The other children had difficulty in accepting her because she was different. That’s all.

It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to stand out in the crowd. It’s okay to be unique. It’s okay to be even a little eccentric. For outstanding people stand out from the rest of the crowd.

If any of us are going to make a lasting impact on our families and our world, we are going to have to act and think differently.

Look at the Emersons, the Fords, the Franklins, the Monets, the Van Goghs and the Beethovens of this world. What a miserable world we would live in if they had all decided to be like everybody else.

People who think differently act differently, and ultimately make a huge difference to not only their own lives, but to the lives of others. Different thinkers live different lives.

The more I live, the more I realise that it is important to be different, to be the ugly duckling, because in the end you have a chance to shine. There will come a day when people will suddenly realise that you are in fact not an ugly duckling, but a beautiful swan.

Now that’s cygn-ificent! What do you think?

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