How you treat other people

For this mornings inspirational message I wanted to put it here on my blog rather than on Facebook as it might get a bit too long. I am not a writer at all and one of the things that I always seem to put off is when I have to write something. Maybe because english is my second language and I am always so self aware that I might not say something right. However, when I have a passion for something, I can write and write and write and no worry about anything.

I always get asked what’s the secret to my success. How did I start my facebook page less than a year ago and we are almost close to 40,000 followers. I think, I view definition of success very different. To me success is not in numbers at all!! I so appreciate all my loyal fans and I love them all but I would not call myself successful because of my number of fans, because of car I drive, because what clothes I wear, because I am published in a magazine, and because so many other things. To me success is to do what I love to do, to lay my head at night knowing that I did my best that day and to treat everybody I come in contact with, not for who they are today, but for what they can be in a few years!!! I have learned that just because somebody is not as “popular” as others, that doesn’t make them less valuable. I go to my daughter’s school and all the kids know me and they all say, hi Mrs. Boicu, and I make and effort to remember their name and I always say Hi… and say their name. It makes their day. One little boy was so amazed that I remembered his name from kindergarden. I am a strong believer that just as I was a little girl and remember every time somebody paid attention to me and how I felt and how it gave me courage to believe in myself, there are a lot of children just like me. I had a dream since I was a little girl that I want to go somewhere and help those that don’t have as much as I do, and trust me, I grew up in the communist era and we were poor. I didn’t see a bottle of coke till I was I believe 12 or so? We didn’t have bananas, oranges, chocolate, gum, nothing. But I still saw pictures in some books of kids in countries that lived in a tent and even though we didn’t have a big house still we had a house so my dream as a little girl was to go one day and help those people.

So why am I writing all this? I got in a bit of hot waters yesterday on Facebook over a picture that I edited and somehow implying that I don’t like people because of their skin color. And no matter how much I try to explain that the picture overall was just underexposed and all I did is edit the entire picture, not just the skin to somehow make somebody’s skin lighter. I grew up not even one time thinking that somehow I am supposed to not like somebody because of their skin color. Since our country was so poor and because the communists were so strict who came into our country, I actually never saw a dark skin person till I was in my teenage years. And that person was a missionary that came and brought us, our first bottle of Coca-Cola and our first bananas. I was about 21 years old when I came here, and when I first heard the notion that for some people the skin color matters. To be honest with you, I am 36 now and I still don’t understand the concept that skin color matters and why some people don’t like others because of the skin colors. I know that there are some words that are politically correct and non politically correct to say and if I ever say anything that offends anybody, please understand that I try so so hard to say things right but some concepts are still so hard for me to grasp in a culture I didn’t grew up in. Sometimes, I google certain terms before I post something to make sure nobody will be offended. I love what I do, I love encouraging my fans on facebook, but I don’t want to live in fear, in fear that I will say something wrong and offend somebody. I respect everybody and if I ever say something that is not “politically” correct please email me in private.

I see potential in each and every one of my fans, I see potential in anybody I meet in my day to day life, I treat people with respect not because I am somehow better than everybody else but because I remember how I grew up, I remember how hard it is to work hard, hard to try to make a living. In the hot Texas summer days, we have some people that help us with our lawn, and it’s over 100 degrees outside and they come and cut our grass and you can see on their face how exhausted they are, and I always make sure I go and get them something cold to drink and ask them if they want a snack!! I respect what they do!! I know they have a family and they have to make a living!! Why do I do that?? Well, maybe because I remember how hard it was when I grew up, during the communist times, we didn’t have the luxury to have sugar, oil, or rice. We had to take eggs, milk, chickens to the state in order for us to QUALIFY to even buy just a tiny bit of sugar, once a month. Since I was the oldest in the family, my parents always send me to the store and I would not even open the door all the way to enter the store and the man in charge of the store would say… “Grigorean (my maiden name)… and he would wave his hand for me to leave the store… you can’t buy anything today.. tell your parents you didn’t send eggs, or chickens or milk so you are not allowed to buy anything!! ” I mean this concept is almost unreal to me just thinking about it now.. but that’s how I grew up!! And I am not complaining.. I am so very thankful of how I grew up because I appreciate everything so much more today!!! But, to me all those events and so so many other more where I was turn away from a long line that I have been waiting for, for over 2 hours to buy some bread, and I was turn away because I didn’t have a “CITY” ID (we lived in the country), all this to me is hard imprinted in my brain that life can take people to places we never thought possible!!!

I can’t tell you how hard it was for me to come to a new country and people to say to repeat again what I am trying to say because they can’t understand me. I struggle so hard to learn a new language and I am already afraid that they will know I have an accent the minute I open my mouth and then when they say to repeat cause they didn’t understand me I just get terrified. Well, I used to not so much anymore. I was working at a bank call center answering phone calls 10 hours a day and even with an accent and all the new terminology in a new country, I worked hard, and I was always in the top 5% from the company. I always loved to work hard and do my best. But one day when I answered call somebody heard my accent and they didn’t even want to talk to me, they just said, give me somebody that speaks English!! Wow!! I didn’t know what to say!! I did cry and cry and cry that day and many days after that but honestly I am thankful for that because that’s the reason why I treat everybody today as if they were gonna be the president of the United States tomorrow!!!

There are a lot more things I could write about on why I treat everybody with respect and that I never, ever would try to put somebody down!!! Why should I ruin somebody’s dreams and tell them they are not good enough, that their photography is not good enough, why would I want to ruin somebody’s whole dream with a few words!!! We don’t know why some people do photography and even some of the pictures that are posted on my wall get criticized sometimes and it makes me sad. I can’t put here some of the emails I get from my fans, on why they are doing photography, maybe they have lost somebody and photography is their way of coping, I did that too when I started, I got into photography as a way of copying with cancer. It was the only thing that gave me pleasure and joy!! My pictures where not anywhere close to what you see now, but in my mind I was happy and I was so eager to learn more things!! We never know people’s lives, their struggles, I want my facebook page to be about support not about trying to prove who can win or who can use the meanest words!! My goal in life was never to be published on a big magazine cover (even thought I have the highest admiration for those that are published) but that is just not where my passion is. My passion is to support people!!

Here are some of my pictures from only 4 years ago. What if somebody told me I am not good enough? I would have probably put that camera down and never looked at it again.

I know that drama in life is inevitable, but many times we have a choice on what to say or what to write!! Our words are so very powerful so please use them to built people up and not tear them down!!

I am sorry if maybe some things I wrote don’t make sense:). I wrote from the heart and if I try to re read I question myself too much so this is just me from my heart!!! A very simple girl, with a big dream!!!

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Ferne Emery - February 24, 2012 - 10:37 am

I know what picture you’re referring to. I honestly thought that you might get chastised for it. Not because I care, but because it’s so touchy, skin color. You cannot make everyone happy. I think this is such a poignant post. Keep your head up. It’s easy for people to misunderstand things, but you handle these things with such grace.

Darla Whisenand - February 24, 2012 - 10:39 am

Lidia, You have such a great spirit about you! I just want to sit down with you and soak up all you have to offer over a cup of coffee or tea! That would be awesome! If you would be interested in doing that at any time I’m just about an hour or so away from you! I am struggling with paying my bills and trying to get this passion of mine to make money for me and my family. So sometimes I just want to throw my hands up and go get a low wage job just to try to pay the bills. But then I read something that you’ve written and you inspire me once again to keep at it and keep learning and to stop wishing and to just do it!! Thank you so much for that!

Darla

Debbie Wibowo - February 24, 2012 - 10:41 am

Very well put. You are such a strong and inspiring person, Lidia. When things don’t go well, I always remind myself to stay positive and that everything else is just a background noise. Hugs!

angie - February 24, 2012 - 10:42 am

I am sorry you were treated poorly! It’s crazy people even think this way! Obviously the family of the child knew you were not being malicious and that’s who really counts!

Katie - February 24, 2012 - 10:43 am

You are a beautiful person. Unfortunately others will always try to tear you down. Just smile and go on… My mother has always said ‘Kill them with kindness’… And she was right. :)

Stephany Hall - February 24, 2012 - 10:47 am

WOW Lidia!! All I can say is I <3 you more everyday!!

Adriana Janky - February 24, 2012 - 11:03 am

I think you are amazing. My mom and dad came from Mexico (legally but that doesn’t matter to some people) and I have seen how others see us because we are not blonde haired or blue eyed or white looking. When I was in high school I went to go out to eat with some of my friends and I was the only Mexican there. In a booth next to us was a little old lady and a friend, and all they did was look back at me and give me dirty looks. It was the first time that I have ever dealt with how others act towards people and it was hurtful but my friends stuck up to me.
No matter what we say, some people will get offended but do not let it bother you, it’s sadly just the way some people are. If you try to help them, or even offer them advice they will get offended and I have dealt with that before too. It is very discouraging from wanting to help others when some people react like that. I hate the fact that sometimes I have to be careful what I say to not offend others, but than you aren’t being yourself and you lose yourself because you have to be careful of what you say. People should understand that we are all human, we make mistakes, we say things that are probably not right but if we explain ourselves they should understand but some just refuse to. This past month, you have shown how generous and amazing you are. I believe your success is never based on the fan count you have but on how you treat others and yourself. You are an inspiring and amazing person. Your pics from 4 years ago are actually good because you have talent :D

Julie - February 24, 2012 - 11:07 am

You are an inspiration! Keep up the wonderful work! xox

Martha Carlson - February 24, 2012 - 11:27 am

I just had to comment after I read this blog entry…

I have always been a firm believer in compassion, equality, anti-racism and viewing the world through non-judgmental eyes. Your words are very powerful, and it is people like you who make the world a much better place.

I have raised my sons to be understanding, compassionate people and they are very willing to step in when they see an injustice, and are strong supporters of people who are being mistreated because of income level, race, religion and ethnic background. this has led them to have friends who are loyal, intelligent, positive and lifelong who may have been overlooked for being “different” Different is a GOOD thing. If you have an accent, that means you are fluent in TWO languages, if you have known poverty, it means you appreciate when good things happen, if you have experienced prejudice, you can fight to spread the message that we all can coexist in this beautiful world we all share…

I have great respect for what you do, and for what you believe in, and how you are raising your beautiful daughter to be a loving person full of grace, love, tolerance and compassion. Those are the greatest gifts of all and they cannot be bought, sold or owned. Their worth is when they are freely given away. You are light in a world of shadows.

Carrie - February 24, 2012 - 11:28 am

Wow. Thank-you so much for sharing. I have only just started following your page, but I want to let you know how much what you have written has meant. YOU are an inspiration to me!

Genevieve - February 24, 2012 - 11:53 am

Lidia, you are an inspiration to so many! Thank you for all you do, you sow so many wonderful seeds of love, kindness and generosity, the list goes on! You should never have been treated in such a way as I and many others witnessed yesterday. You also convicted me through this blog entry that dragging it on with people that act mean isn’t worth the time or the energy. I think many people wanted to protect you because they love you so much! Some of a are bulldogs when people attack those we care about. :) You are an incredible woman Lidia, inside and out! What a legacy you have! The seed you have sown into this world is great! You will receive a mighty harvest!

brooke burrell beasley - February 24, 2012 - 12:01 pm

very well said! you are an amzing person, inside and out! you inspire me!

Jennifer D. - February 24, 2012 - 12:14 pm

Lidia, you are a very genuine person and only those who are too guarded to see that can’t see it. I don’t know what picture you are referring to and it doesn’t matter to me because although I don’t know you face to face, I DO know enough of who you are to know that you would never intentionally create strife. Thank you for being so vulnerable and open, it is truly refreshing and inspirational!

Carmen Foxall - February 24, 2012 - 12:33 pm

Thank you again Lidia…you are such a beautiful person and I know you would never intentionally hurt anyones feelings. You are my hero!

Lori - February 24, 2012 - 12:41 pm

Wow, Lidia! That is a wonderful blog, right from the heart! Thank you for that! You know that boy that was amazed you remembered his name? Wait until he is done school and an adult. I have had similar incidents and get reminded about things I had done that formed these young people into caring adults.

I belong to another site where something similar happened, Lidia. These are the words that were posted there. I was going to message them to you, but I think they would be nice right here on your blog.

“I think there is a quiet strength and power in being nice. Some people think that abruptness and saying everything on your mind is strength. But sometimes, having the self-confidence to lift others is the true power.”

jen - February 24, 2012 - 1:52 pm

what beautiful words…aren’t the words that come from the heart the best?
i read this morning what was written on facebook beside that gorgeous photo of yours and was so shocked. i wanted to add my two cents about how silly people were being and seeing the comments from the MOTHER should have shut them up but i didn’t want to add fuel to the fire so it took all my strength to carry on but i think you handled it with grace and beauty.
now about my once upon a time questions….haha. maybe another time. just wanted to say i am so glad i found you in the world and it’s nice to “meet” you.

Sandy - February 24, 2012 - 6:28 pm

Lidia, this post is exactly why, in my opinion, you have come so far in only a year. You are real and kind and caring and despite all the hate out in the world I truly believe that all anybody wants is to be loved. I think you make people feel that way.

I wish you all the happiness in the world because you deserve it.
<3

Amy - February 24, 2012 - 7:23 pm

wow! you are so inspirational! i think it is just amazing how with your big heart and beautiful words, you can inspire so many people.

Melanie Hood - February 25, 2012 - 6:55 pm

You are a beautiful person. You wear your heart on the outside because that’s where the light is. I have never heard your story before, but now I understand why I like you so much. If we were next door neighbors we would be best friends. xoxox Hugs to you.

Leah Nicole - February 28, 2012 - 12:48 pm

Lydia, you are by far one of the most inspirational and encouraging people on this planet. For ANYONE to doubt your love for others seems like a foreign concept to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do, for others and for our industry. YOU ARE A CANDLE.

Much love and respect for you!
xoxo

Lauren O - March 22, 2012 - 9:18 am

So glad I came across this blog post. Didn’t see the image you are referring too but know how quick people are to jump on someone w/o taking the time to think first. Thank you for sharing so much of your personal life experiences. Even though I don’t know you personally, your kind, giving spirit comes thru! Thank you for all you do.

Marcos Antonio Mytil Portorreal - May 14, 2012 - 10:51 pm

is a great pleasur to me write in this blog I speak more spian than in english but my english is grow up and I try to be so, I like the advise like this beacause this is the love that we have to be for all people in the world ┬┤cause we are brother no matter the color or skin or ideology, thanks.

marcos antonio mytil portorreal - September 29, 2013 - 5:20 pm

thanks to everybody

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