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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Luminous Lizzie Velasquez

Cyber-bullying has found its perfect counter in one Elizabeth Ann Velasquez, also known as Lizzie Velasquez: motivational speaker, author and life model for one and all.

You've most probably have heard of Miss Velasquez already - have you not? Lizzie was born with an extremely rare condition: a congenital disease that some believe to be a form of neonatal progeroid syndrome, the like of which has affected only a few human beings on this Earth thus far in the known medical history.  To the naked eye and to the common man, it appears as though Lizzie suffers from anorexia nervosa, at the first glance of her fragility; it is not the case. For one of the major symptoms of her condition is exactly that she is unable to gain weight at all: her body has zero percent body fat and so it will be for all of her days.  Lizzie's condition would not be so bad if it were only that: alas, such is not the case either. There are various symptoms related to this type of condition: an appearance that falsely implies accelerated aging, a very weak immune system, the possible complications for various organs and in this wide array of possible symptoms, there is the specter of a much reduced, much shorter lifespan, indeed. In Lizzie's case, only her right eye was affected and it has been the lone casualty: she began to lose sight in it at the age of four. But she has had no other complications stemming from her rare condition - if it wasn't for the unkind human nature, that is.

In 2008, she became aware of a video someone had uploaded on YouTube - a video about her. The commenters were the harshest, cruelest there could be: mockingly, one hopes, calling for her self-destruction or... burning at the stake, as is recalled in this French account of her story. The oddest thing about all this may be that all of these hecklers are probably Trekkies, to some degree: they completely missed out on the basic message of acceptance and tolerance that Gene Roddenberry was so evidently trying to get through. The saddest thing about it, though, is that most of these people are hypocrites who would never want to be branded as such douches of cruelty in public: yet, under the allowed cover of anonymity that the web gives them, they will be totally and completely merciless to the less meritorious of such treatment. The video's title branded Lizzie as ''the ugliest in the world'' - but, of course, such abysmal cyber-bullies were only proving themselves to be the truly unsightly, unthinking, unworthiest of this world; and they were, in effect, only the instruments of a Greater Plan in their wayward web folly, which manifested itself as the most heartless form of taunting in the most popular modern public place that we are all using on a daily basis now. 

For there is one other thing about Lizzie Velasquez that is extremely important: she is beautiful, luminous, incandescent soul. She believes and she knows that there is a God - and she believes and knows that He Has A Plan for her, too...  In falling victim to this most heinous form of cyber-bullying, Lizzie Velasquez was merely prepared for the fulfillment of that Plan - for her destiny and life-mission to unfold. And so it did.

It began in 2008 but truly got jumpstarted in 2013 - as her unwanted renown had grown through the world wide web, people became aware of her extremely rare condition and exceptional fate.  In 2013, she received an invitation to speak at TEDx and everything fell into place from that point on.

Now, the young woman ''destroyed'' by YouTube haters has her own channel on the platform - with nearly 350,000 subscribers to date.  She became the instant advocate against cyber-bullying, undue harassment, leading up to her campaigning now to make it officially unlawful as it is reprehensible, through the American Senate. For that is another thing about Lizzie Velasquez: she is American-born. She is an American citizen. People who first hear her name presume she might be Mexican, or a South American somewhere where such birth defects and conditions should arise - ''not in America'' as the average all-American brute says, right? Well, no: Lizzie Velasquez was born to this world in the heart of America , the beautiful: Austin, Texas, really, in 1989. And she is the most beautiful of the whole sorry lot, without question.

Listen to her speak on the most touching topic now, HOW TO DEFINE YOURSELF:

There is a movie coming out on her life story: ''A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez'' relates just how she was led to ''fight back in a different way'' when the worst kind of anonymous users on the web took to their keyboards to simply be mean towards another human being; someone they didn't even know and had no right whatsoever to judge in any way.  She fought back in such a magnificent fashion that she has become an inspiration for millions worldwide.  The trailer for this film is already online as well, and it is unquestionably one of the must-see films of the year - much more so than any super-hero fest, cinematic universe installment or anything else of the like! Her three books so far are not merely about her private plight as they are self-help for one and all who struggles, each in their own way, through existence.  She plans her next one to be aimed at a younger readership: for it is never too early to educate the prone to lynch out masses, I say... Sweet Lizzie would put it in a much different way, I know.

What sets Lizzie Velasquez apart is intricately related to the fact that her condition is undiagnosed and such a rare form of something that is known but vastly not understood yet by the medical establishment yet. For, unlike other pure, innocent souls born with such deformities, she has been given time to respond. She has found the strength to ''fight back - in a different way''. She has had, despite a potentially shortened life-expectancy, a longer stay on this earth in order to carry forth this life-mission, this purpose that she has been given by providence... In her extraordinary story, one cannot help but to see similarities with other kids born with the most common forms of this congenital condition: one thinks of young Sam from Boston, most particularly. For there was one certifiable ANGEL AMONG US that some of the brainless and the heartless out there would refuse to (lest they simply could not) recognize as such...  Sam's life -and so many more just like him, throughout the years- went by too fast for them to have the impact that Lizzie has been able to have on the cruel minds and cold hearts out there. All these kids can do is touch some already kind by nature, as activities such as those of the famed Make-A-Wish (come true) foundation are set in motion to make their final days joyous ones, at the very least.  One can note that there is an adult-version of this -the dream foundation- but Lizzie Velasquez has been so blessed by God as to be able to make her dreams and wishes come true all by herself now.

Purpose in life is of extreme importance: and whether she states it in so many words or actually words it differently, that is one of the most important messages Lizzie Velasquez is here to convey to all of the oppressed, the ostracized, the victims of this insidious form of pettiness and malice that truly plagues all levels of our society.  She believes and she knows that God Had this life-calling for her when He Allowed for such an apparent imperfection to be bestowed upon her at birth.  And it is so very obvious that such is the case - and such is the truth.  

More power to you, Lizzie Velasquez; sister in Christ. 
You are truly beautiful - you are truly luminous.

Sempre Por O Melhor 
-no sentido de colocar o mais lindo de tudo na rede-


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