October is a month of celebration for people with different advocacies — mental health, breast cancer awareness, and intersex awareness, to name a few. This month is also a time to celebrate the girl. Yes, you read that right. The girl.
The United Nations marked October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. The day sheds light on the multiple needs and challenges that girls around the world face every day. It addresses the fulfillment of girls’ human rights, consequently promoting empowerment.
The world draws energy and creativity from girls all over the world — in fact, there are approximately 1.1 billion of them. These girls, regardless of their social status or living conditions or cultural consumption, experience challenges every day.
I say it’s our job as individuals who have grown from a girl to a woman to lead them to the right direction. Let’s influence the young girls around us, positively teaching them to have a curious and optimistic mindset.
Live Every Day with a Curious Mind
Live every day like it’s your last.
There’s a reason you see this quote on so many travel-related Instagram posts. And while it does sound adventurous on the surface, it has a deeper meaning: be curious, don’t hold back, and absorb everything with an open heart.
Little girls are naturally curious but if you keep giving them answers such as “because I say so” or “it’s just the way things are” or “I’ll tell you when you’re older,” it makes them retract from the world bit by bit. So stamp down stagnancy; rather, ignite their curiosity. Let them know that every day is an adventure and that they have an entire world to explore.
Embrace Your Imperfections
“Those are good grades, I must say, but they can be better.”
You may have heard similar statements about how you’re doing great but that you could still improve. Let’s not drill these statements into the minds of little girls; they’ll just believe that they’re never good enough. Instead, let’s teach them that it’s okay not to be perfect at everything.
Yes, we can still point out where areas for improvement. Rather than dwelling on the negative, however, we should turn them into positive. Make young girls aware of their strengths and weaknesses. With time, they’ll know how to use both to their advantage.
Let Yourself Be Heard
British girl group, Little Mix, gives young girls a lesson through their 2013 single “Little Me.”
The quartet says that, given a chance, they’d tell their younger self to speak up and shout out. They’d encourage her to talk louder and be prouder. More importantly, they’d tell the little girl that she’s beautiful and wonderful and that she can be anything she wants to be.
Like the women of Little Mix, we have our fair share of “I wish someone told me that when I was younger” moments. We may not be able to change the past, but we can pay it forward. Let little girls know they have a voice, that they deserve to use it, and that people will listen to them.
Be Whoever You Want To Be
Some of the most beautiful moments in life happen in one’s youth.
When you’re young, your mind is still open to all possibilities ahead of you; you possess a childlike innocence that says you can be anything you want to be. Let’s promote this mindset among young girls, reminding them to enjoy their youth and that we are ready to support their endeavors.
But while it’s important to let young girls know that the world has a lot to offer, we should also know when to ground them. So as much as we want to paint a perfect world for them, we have to show them how reality works. And we have to teach them how to cope with it.
Little girls can be whoever and wherever they want to be, but they won’t get there with some hardships along the way.
Through it all, we should remind them not to rush, to take a breather once in a while. More importantly, we should let them know that we are right behind them—supporting their endeavors and guiding them to the right direction when necessary.