A Cinderella Story.

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Richard Gere, Julia Roberts… these two names conjure Pretty Woman. I saw this movie last when I was in my teens. A Cinderella story, played out with glamorous Hollywood as its backdrop.

I was traveling cross country today and Pretty Woman was listed in the Romance section of the inflight movie selection. A pinch of nostalgia, and I decided to watch it. I was able to pick out nuances that I had clearly missed when I was in my teens so it felt as if I was watching the movie for the first time, yet I was surprised by the minute details I remembered.

The polka dot dress that she wears to the polo game, the slimey lawyer embarrassing her, the Rodeo drive shopping scene, so many instances jumped out. What really stood out was optimism. This is the fuel on which we build successes in life.

Today there is so much darkness around us. Specially looking at news and current affairs. The economy is volatile, there is so much unwanted violence perpetrated by religious fanatics, corporations and politicians seem to be in cahoots, choking the goose that lays golden eggs, the middle class and common people. The media seems to want to highlight only the bad, sucking out hope from the millions watching and reading the toxicity they put out.

Circumstances can force people to do things they may not want to. Yet, doing what you must with poise and dignity and respect for yourself can carry a person through the most difficult of situations.

Optimism or hope that there is a path to better oneself, to get out of less than ideal circumstance, a way to move forward in life whatever the situation. If you cannot manufacture hope within yourself, if you cannot bring yourself to believe that the only way is up, you won’t be able to overcome the next obstacle in your path.

When things don’t seem to be going your way after your best efforts, not losing yourself to despair, picking yourself up and trying again, not giving up. All this may seem difficult, but, this is the only real way out of the situation, because going the other way means signing your life over to obscurity.

Do you have a story where you picked yourself up, went against odds and came out on the other side, holding the flag of your principles high, finding success in what you wanted to achieve? What’s your Cinderella story?

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