I watched the movie Hidden Figures tonight. Movie doesn’t begin to describe it. It is a cinematic historical wonder to be honest. It was witty, hilarious, heartbreaking, and inspiring. The fact that it is a true story simply multiplies the awe I felt for those ladies.
In the face of a system that was racist and unfair Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan rose to unprecedented heights within NASA. And they did it with a work ethic that is inspiring and without demeaning or disrespecting those around them. They were told they could not achieve what they did because of their skin color and gender but they did not allow that to discourage them in the least. They did not allow society to define who they were and what they could do and they refused to simply adhere to the societal norms and status quo.
Katherine, Mary and Dorothy did not allow the naysayers to dictate their lives. They were persistent, intelligent, and respectful in pursuing their dreams in the face of opposition. The frightening thing is that the opposition they faced was legally in the right. Morally right? Not at all. But the law was on the opposition’s side. Courage was something these ladies had in spades.
It’s a good lesson even now. What dreams have you left behind because someone told you it could never be done? That degree that you always wanted but abandoned, the trip you had planned out but you were told it was unsafe, the business you wanted to start and you were told it would fail.
What would you achieve if there was no one to place doubts inside your head? What would you do if you ignored the doubts? And if it is your own doubts that plague you why listen to them?
This doesn’t mean be disrespectful or demeaning to the people who oppose you or doubt your dreams. Often they are just seeing things from a different point of view. But even if their opposition is because of a racist, sexist, or other -ist that does not mean you have to bring yourself to their level. You can rise above it and achieve what you want without resorting to a petty fight. They will be proven wrong in the end, why waste time and energy trying to convince them that they are wrong when you can just show them?
Be known by your actions. Be persistent, courageous, and determined to achieve your dreams. Be respectful of the ones around you, even when they are not. Have a work ethic that astounds the people who meet you. Hard work a little bit of talent outshines no work and a lot of talent every time. So work for what you want, and don’t let the naysayers determine your path.
So what dreams have you put aside? Maybe it’s time to take them up again, despite what others might say. Seriously, go see Hidden Figures and marvel at how courageous these ladies were.