Invisibility, Individuality, and Influence

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. Cooler weather is starting to pop up now, and I am happily waiting to put up our fall decorations. I sometimes put them out in early September, even though autumn doesn’t officially start until later in the month. I can’t decide if I want to break out my boots and sweaters yet or hold on to summer just a little while longer. I must admit that I have loved the smell of pumpkin-spiced coffee.

Quote of the week: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” –Dr. Seuss

Movie of the week: This week, I want to recommend The Princess Diaries movies. If you haven’t already seen them, the plot centers on a shy teenager named Mia Thermopolis, who goes from being an almost invisible girl to a princess overnight. Mia is thrown into a new world where she must relearn nearly everything she thought she knew. In the first movie, she learns her heritage. She also goes through a physical transformation that causes the people in her world to treat her differently. Then, in the second movie, she learns that she is supposed to get married. We are introduced to Chris Pine before he became the young Captain James T. Kirk of the Star Trek films. These are fun movies, and even though my daughter is not in the princess phase anymore, I still love to watch them.

Joke of the week: What did one toilet say to the other? You look a bit flushed.

Nugget of Wisdom for the week: This week I want to talk to you about INFLUENCE. This is a tricky topic but an important one. We both influence others and are influenced by others. That’s why it is extremely important who is in your circle of influence. You want to surround yourselves with people who don’t always think like you, but instead challenge you to be your better self. You also want to be strong enough in your own thoughts and opinions that others don’t bowl you over and keep you from your own individuality. The other thing I want you to realize is that you have an influence on others. Be respectful of each friend’s unique personality, and encourage all of your friends to be the best version of themselves. Step in and give encouragement when someone you know is having a difficult time.

Life is too short to copy other people. The you that’s deep inside is AWESOME, and other people want to see that person. I have always said that if I could be any combination of fictional characters to make myself a better person, I would want to be Queen Clarisse from The Princess Diaries, Counselor Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Black Widow. Let me explain…I want to be the epitome of patience and understanding that Queen Clarisse exudes, right down to “speaking in hushed tones.” I want to have the empathic abilities that Counselor Troi has so I can meet people where they are and love on them better. And Black Widow? Well, I would just want to be able to defend myself and kick some butt sometimes!

Anyway, have a great week. Remember, you are most awesome and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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