“If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? Five? No, calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” – Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States.
I was reminded of this quote when the whole Don Imus fiasco occurred back in April 2007. If you don’t remember the story, Imus was a radio “shock jock”, best described as controversial. He said some rather distasteful things about the Rutgers women’s basketball team which created a massive stir in the media.
The players, as well as their coach, publicly stated how hurt they were, how the statements tore them down, etc. Imus offered an apology, but was still fired.
The real tragedy of this story is not that Imus made racially slanderous statements, but that the coach and the players didn’t stand up and say, “Don Imus can say anything he wants about us, but it doesn’t make it true.” Just as Lincoln stated, “…calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” Just because someone says something hurtful and negative about you, doesn’t make it a fact.
Sappy or not, the only person that can hurt you emotionally, is you. You have to allow it. Picture this: Ten people are in a room, and nine of them offer you a verbal compliment, while one tears you down with a negative opinion. What do you carry with you for years? The compliments? No. You carry the one negative comment. You replay it over and over in your mind.
Ask yourself one simple question, “Why do you care?” Or take it further, “Why do you give a fuck?” The less fucks you give, the happier you will be. Trust me on this one.
Rise above the chatter and start becoming the person and leader you know you can be. There will always be someone who doesn’t like you and will speak negatively about you. Always remember, just because someone says it, it doesn’t make it true.
You know the truth. Now live it.