When we lived in Washington, DC, Donna Brazile was a local politico and if we went to any event in Georgetown, we were likely to bump into her. Now, of course, she is on the national news, a talking head, a savvy commentator on the political scene for the country.
Recently, she told Oprah that when she was young, the kids would tease her about her hair, her clothes – everything – and they would call her names. “It’s not what they call you; it’s what you answer to,” her mother would tell her.
It’s true, isn’t it? We all hear what others are saying but some of us listen and internalize it and some of us don’t. If you know who you are, it doesn’t matter what someone calls you. You know your name, your strengths, your identity. Most of us don’t have a firm grip on that when we are young. But as we get older, we remember what our mothers, fathers, aunt, grandmothers told us. And like Donna Brazile, we use the knowledge of our identities to focus ourselves on our work, on our goals, on our accomplishments. After all, our hair and our clothes can be changed but who we are, what we answer to, is deep inside and it is our important name.