You’re off to spend a fun, exciting week at Jr. Miss.
I am proud of you, I love you, I miss you . . . and I worry about you. To be honest, I worry about all of the girls there. How will you/they come away from your week? There are not enough prizes to go around; some will walk away with nothing. What would that do to you—to walk away with nothing after all your hard work and time spent? What will that say about you, to you?
Here’s what I hope for.
Please know that your worth is not dependant on your talents or how good you make a dress look. It is true that every girl there is talented and beautiful and beloved to her family. But the girls back home—the ones who didn’t make it to State or who never even tried—have just as much worth as each of you beautiful and talented girls. You have to understand that your importance as a human being does not depend on how you look or what you can do. It’s inherent, simply because YOU ARE.
Now don’t get me wrong, what you do with yourself, how hard you work to improve yourself and develop talents is very important. You are in the process of creating yourself and who you can be. Your hard work will create of you a masterpiece, but really, it will all be for naught if you can’t recognize the beauty inside yourself and everyone around you. It is our differences that make the tapestry of humanity so interesting and perfect.
It is one girl’s privilege to walk away as the winner at the end of the week. She will have scholarship money and many responsibilities—that each of you, no doubt, would happily accept. But 33 of you will walk away with less. Less scholarship money, less responsibility, fewer pats on the back, but hopefully not less in your feelings of self worth. I believe it is one girl’s destiny to walk that path, but for the rest of you, your path will be different. Some will walk away with nothing . . . but the memories of your great experiences and hopefully a greater appreciation of who you are and who you can become. The feelings you walk away with are entirely up to you.
Make a lot of friends, enjoy your experiences, learn to interview well and balance your life, learn to appreciate and serve those around you, and bring your changed self home to bless the lives of those around you. Enjoy this experience that few will have, and learn to see the beauty in every person, no matter what talents they have, how much money, how they look—and sometimes even how they behave.
I would say this on behalf of every mother of every girl there this week: We love you and are proud of YOU—for what you have accomplished but also for who you are. Have a GREAT week, no matter what happens at the end of it.