There has been a lot written and televised lately about the three most famous Roosevelts. Tomorrow will mark the 130th birthday of Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman who thought for herself and was in a position to use those thoughts effectively. You can read a short bio of her here at The Writer’s Almanac.
If there was ever anyone who could have worried about what people thought of her it was Mrs. Roosevelt, our longest serving First Lady. Evidently, she was quite comfortable with herself and her role in our nation’s history. There are many aphorisms attributed to her, but my favorite, one mentioned in that bio, is this: "You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do." It has taken me years to realize the truth of that.
I forget where I read it, but recently I came on a quote to the effect that “what other people think of you is none of your business.” I’ve often worried about what folks thought of what I do or don’t do. I still do worry a bit about the appropriateness of what I wear where, and I’m sure it is a good thing, but for years it made me nervous and anxious. I wasn’t wearing a ball gown to a baseball game or a bathing suit to a funeral, but I just knew that everyone else had seen me and that I was found wanting. I now know that only the self-appointed critics would do such a thing, and what they thought wouldn’t have hurt me in the least, especially because I can’t read minds.
I’m pleased to have reached the age and stage where I am comfortable with myself. Taking the hint from Mrs. Roosevelt, I yam what I yam.