Self-Help: Even If You Were Born This Way, Do You Have To Stay Stuck This Way?

Self-Help: Even If You Were Born This Way, Do You Have To Stay Stuck This Way?

Lady Gaga’s anthemic hit song “Born this Way” understandably struck an empowering chord with many people who feel different, misunderstood, shunted off to the side, have disabilities, or express themselves with non-conventional ideas or lifestyles. From the standpoint of increasing feelings of self-worth and raising consciousness, this is to be applauded. And of course there are attributes of self, sexual orientation, and lifestyle choices that no one should feel invalidated about or be pressured to change. But if used to justify dysfunction, slothfulness, or not becoming actively engaged in helping oneself, then the “born this way” slogan is being subverted.

Although Lady Gaga might recount experiences of being teased and ostracized because she was different, she is nonetheless a living example of transforming a problem into an asset, in the process becoming a global icon. She shows the power that can result when a person is simultaneously self-accepting and- borrowing from the immortal words of Mahatmas Gandhi- “becomes the change they want to see in the world.”

Undoubtedly, it is important to be accepting of how you are. At the same time however, it is equally important to know that you are also free to change and develop. The worst thing would be to feel restricted and “stuck this way.” Lady Gaga hasn’t been limited, to say the least, by the way she was born, no one else should be either.

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