The Elephant: What The Symbol Did For Me and What It Can Do For You

My love for the elephant started from a young age when I went to Montessori school and the teacher (who I love dearly and has taught me everything I know) told me about elephants being killed for their tusks. You might be thinking “why is the teacher telling a 5 year old such a horrible thing?” but without her I wouldn’t be as aware of the world as I am today, I am like this because she told us the truth about culture, war, animals and different religions (but most importantly have respect for them and for the world). I was horrified by this discovery, so I asked “why would they kill such a beautiful, strong and smart animal?” Continue reading

Am I Hurting My Sister’s Self-esteem ?

Bonjour everyone, so today is a more personal post about the fine line of teaching someone to have thick skin and just plain beating them down. Now if you have a younger sibling you were always taught to:

  • look out for them
  • teach them to not make the same mistakes as you
  • and occasionally hit them over the head when they are acting like idiots

If you are the younger sibling you can probably recall moments of all 3 listed above, but sometimes that love and care can come across as just mean and degrading…even though that is not the intention. Unfortunately I can’t speak as the youngest sibling because I don’t have first hand experience with those feelings; but I can say that sometimes my approaches to making my sister a stronger person are faulty. Let me give you all a little background story: I have a younger sister who is 6 years apart from me and we look nothing alike (as you can see from the pictures below). NO! she’s not adopted, even though some of things she does makes me wish she was, and NO! we don’t have a different parent. My sister and I have similar personalities: strong, outgoing, funny, loud, opinionated. However, she is more the life of the party and I tend to focus my energy on school. I love my sister, she makes me laugh when I am sad and I am so proud of her for not being afraid to be who she is, but I get frustrated when she challenges me (I am Taurus and she is a Leo….they don’t really mix). Recently I have noticed stress from school makes me act out more at home, therefore she picks up my habits and tends to do it herself, as well as I make sneer remarks at the silly things she talks about or wears.

P1090513My sister lives in a world were she will always be judged because she is a girl. She will be told she can’t do that, because she is a girl, and she will be looked down upon, because she is a girl. This will lower her self-esteem and twist her perception of beauty and that bothers me, but I can’t control how much the world beats her down. What I can control is whether or not I beat her down.  I asked my sister about all the rude and judgemental things I say to her… she gave 25, but here is the top 5 things she told me I say

  1. I call her a boy because her hair is short- I meant is as a joke, but I can tell it hurts her.
  2. I make fun of her clothes- she wears weird things and it embarrasses me but I know that is her way of expressing herself
  3. What she talks about is stupid- she is only 8, what exciting stories does she have….but I should at least pretend I care
  4. I call her names- that can really make her feel ashamed of herself and I shouldn’t do that
  5. We play fight- it’s not really fair and it bothers me that I find it entertaining to watch her kick and scream

I probably sound like a bully but I didn’t mean to make her feel bad, it’s just the way everyone has talked to me, it’s just the way I have been judged but that doesn’t give me a right to disrespect my sister. She is an intelligent, bright, curious kid who has a passion for expressing herself in ways I haven’t even thought of. She is strong and observant and has an outlook on life that mesmerizes me. I have made a promise to my self that everyday I will call my sister beautiful and try to stop calling her names because that is not the right way to make her stronger. To be strong is to be confident in yourself

~XO Donatella.