Lizzie Velasquez has learned to grow through life’s challenges She was born with a rare genetic syndrome which makes it impossible for her to gain weight; but she is more than a person with a disorder. She is:
- A motivational speaker
- A Christian
- A daughter and sister
- A person with the gift of compassion
- A dog lover
- A friend
- A college graduate
- A anti-bullying activist
- And so much more
Her message is that each of us is more than any one quality that may make us feel inferior or insecure. She says:
“Making the decision not to let anyone else define us and then choosing how to define ourselves and what we’re all about –these are essential steps in life ….And they have everything to do with moving forward on a path toward kindness.”
Although her appearance causes others to stare, and she has been cyber-bullied with a video describing her as the “world’s ugliest woman,” Lizzie remains a positive person. Connecting with and inspiring people is her passion, and her condition gives her a platform for doing that. She believes that::
“Those people who are fueled by hatred and anger to lash out against others, what if they had experienced more kindness, compassion, and acceptance in their own lives? In many cases, their outcomes would have been different.“
If each of us does our part in spreading even small acts of kindness, there will be a ripple effect. She has some practical suggestions like giving compliments, smile, hold a door, tell those you meet to have a wonderful day, and so on. Let people know that you see them and value them. It can make a difference. We’re all responsible for creating a culture of kindness.
Finally Lizzie has learned to quell her doubts about the future because God in in control and His plan is bigger and better than anything we can imagine.
I don’t agree with all of Lizzie’s views, but I applaud many of her general premises: be kind; don’t judge others by their appearance; value your family and your past; pray and trust God, don’t be afraid to ask for help and be vulnerable.
VERDICT: 3 STARS
There is also a documentary about Lizzie’s life, “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Vasquez Story, which I plan to check out of the library and may review. Lizzie is also on YouTube and has a podcast.
For more posts on kindness see: