“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
Last year, I read the book, “The Help” and then saw the movie by the same name. As usual, I liked the book best, but that is because I am a reader. The movie was great and stuck closely to the book, so I highly recommend both.
The quote above was said by Aibileen Clark, a black maid/nanny to Mae Mobley, her small white charge. Aibileen repeated those words to Mae Mobley daily to help make up for the fact that her own mother couldn’t be bothered with her. It is my favorite quote because it is so simple, and yet, so right.
Imagine if every day someone said these words to you, and they meant it. Imagine hearing these words every single day since you were a small child. Would it change things? Would hearing these words help to override the negative voice inside your own head?
My own mother did the best she could. I am sure she said some positive things to me along the roads of my childhood. She is not an affectionate person, so I don’t remember hugs, kisses, or her even saying that she loved me. In her mind, it was understood. In my mind, I felt unloveable, and that feeling haunts me to this day. The words I remember, like many of us, are the negative ones. Would things be different if she had repeated heartfelt words of encouragement daily? Or am I just a person destined to feel unworthy of real love?
I don’t know the answers, but if you have young children, it couldn’t hurt to try. Look at your child each day and try to give some affirmation of real love. Maybe, just maybe, those words will sink in and change your child’s world.