A 12 year old girl committed suicide this week after enduring relentless bullying. That headline breaks my heart. The bullies were former classmates and children themselves. Often adults do not understand the power of words and when this lesson is not taught to our youth they do not think their words will have consequences. Tragic consequences. I grew up in a time fairly shielded from such extreme bullying because the internet and instant communications were not invented yet. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
I recently learned someone near and dear to me has suffered life long effects from a form of bullying she has endured her whole life. She has a problem that the majority of us think of as “lucky”. Her doctor has told her she needs to gain weight. Yep, not lose but gain. What an awesome problem, right? Think again. First, if a doctor is telling you to do something to improve your health that is usually not a good thing. The second, and worse part, is that she has had to listen to people tell her they hate her. Think about that. You may have uttered something like the following statement: “You’re so thin! I hate you!” You may be saying that because you think you are giving a compliment by pointing out what you think is a positive in the other person. Unfortunately when someone hears that a lot she starts hearing only “I hate you!” and eventually she thinks everyone hates her and self esteem goes in the toilet.
The purpose of this blog today is to try to make you think about words. Do you want people to hate you because of your looks? Or because you have financial stability? Or because you have a good marriage? Or because you have a job? The list can go on. We all have a myriad of positives in our lives and to “hate” someone else simply because you are jealous of their positives is unfortunate. It sounds as though you are comparing yourself to another and coming up short. Why do we do this to ourselves? Halle Berry has talked about how being beautiful does not spare her from heartbreak or trouble. Eileen Rockefeller did an interview and talked about how freedom from want did not spare her from growing up lonely. “The net worth of our bank account is not nearly so important, ultimately, as our self-worth” is a great quote from her. We all have our problems. What one person may perceive as something to be envious of might not be all that wonderful.
I am going to try even harder to pass on compliments. I am also going to try harder to not judge myself in comparison to someone else. No more wishing for something someone else has and “hating” them for having it. I have way too much going for me! We all do! Let’s try some flattery instead! You look great! I am so happy for your accomplishments!
Today’s recipe is something you can make quickly and it will make you feel good because it is good for you. I just read Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Diet and this is a recipe from that book. I made it last night and had it ready in 20 minutes. The original recipe calls for Arborio rice. If you have ever made or eaten risotto you have had this type of rice. This was the first time I had made it in this way. You could definitely substitute brown rice or even couscous in this. The Arborio is so starchy, though, it creates a wonderfully chewy and satisfying meal. I added feta cheese and a handful of sunflower seeds to ours and served it with roasted broccoli.
Rice with Lemon, Basil and Tomato
1 cup Arborio rice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2-3 pinches of salt
1-2 pinches fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup (or more if you want) fresh tomatoes large dice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
Place the unrinsed rice in a saucepan with 3 cups water (this will foam a lot because of the starch, so use a large pot). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, until mostly tender but still a little firm in the center of the grain. Drain off any water that was not absorbed, and transfer the rice to a mixing bowl. Add the EVOO, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste (it is better to start off with a tiny amount of salt and pepper and add more if you need it). Mix well, add the tomatoes and sprinkle with basil. Toss to combine and serve.