The first time I was ever called ugly, I was thirteen. It was a rich friend of my brother Carlton's over to shoot guns in the field.'Why you crying, girl?' Constantine asked me in the kitchen.I told her what the boy had called me, tears streaming down my face.'Well? Is you?'I blinked, paused my crying. 'Is I what?''Now you look a here, Egenia'-because constantien was the only one who'd occasionally follow Mama's rule. 'Ugly live up on the inside. Ugly be a hurtful, mean person. Is you one a them peoples?''I don't know. I don't think so,' I sobbed.Constantine sat down next to me, at the kitchen table. I heard the cracking of her swollen joints. She pressed her thumb hard in the palm of my hand, somthing we both knew meant Listen. Listen to me.'Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision.' Constantine was so close, I could see the blackness of her gums. 'You gone have to ask yourself, Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?'She kept her thumb pressed hard in my hand. I nodded that I understood. I was just smart enough to realize she meant white people. And even though I still felt miserable and knew that I was, most likely, ugly, it was the first time she ever talked to me like I was something besides my mother's white child. All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.
Kathryn Stockett
In this one life, this one life that you have to live, you must embrace every moment that creeps into your existence. You must feel every possible emotion to realize you’re really alive, you’re really living. If you build walls and you hide behind them in fear, you’re not embracing moments, you’re not actually living. And if you’re not living, then you’re dead. Maybe not physically, but mentally and emotionally, you are non-existent. Why would you want to waste such precious time, non-existing, especially behind a crumby wall? Fear? Fear of what? Fear of something great? Fear of something amazing? Hurt? Fear of pain? Isn’t pain what makes us appreciate feelings of absolute happiness and love? Who doesn’t want happiness? Let me be the one to tell you that this life is short, it’s damn short. So, let go of your grudges, your past, your stupid walls and feel reality. Avoidance is not life. Pain is life, happiness is life, emotion is life. Live your damn life. Stop being dead. Embrace every good feeling in your heart and soul and act on it without the fear of hurt, because undoubtedly hurt will happen, but hurt will also disappear and lead to the most valuable feelings in this world. Regret is not something you want to live with in this short, short life. So follow that tiny fist sized drum in your chest because it is honest and it is true. Take those fucking chances, take them knowing this world is full of opportunity, opportunity for great things, absolutely amazing fucking things. Take chance because that is living and no one wants to be dead. No one really wants to hide behind these crumby walls. Walls are built for protection, but guess what? You’re not protecting yourself, you are limiting yourself. You’re limiting your existence. You are the source of your suffering. You’re missing out on the best opportunities by hiding behind these shit walls. So you8 want to play it safe? Why? Life is for taking the risks, for closing your eyes and taking that damn leap of faith. This, this is living; this is your one shot. So take the risk, find opportunity, break down walls, fell the hurt, feel the happiness, live in the now, embrace what your heart is telling you and love EVERY damn moment of your existence. And please keep living, really, whole-heartedly keep living.