She found a box of rags. Her children were cold because they had no coats. So she spent days making her daughter Dolly a coat out of those rags to keep her warm. When her daughter wore it to school the other children made fun of her and laughed. What would you do in that situation? If you were Dolly Parton, you would turn that horrible childhood memory into a chart busting song in 1965 and rock the world. THAT is exactly what happened. She told her story and made country music history.
We all know people can be cruel, even children. They ridicule, taunt, mock and belittle each other not knowing how it haunts their victims into adulthood. Words hurt. So when she grew up Dolly Parton devoted herself to making life better for the less fortunate in her home state of Tennessee. She has multiple foundations that revolve around education, reading, book donations plus she built commercial parks and businesses to provide employment opportunities. She took what was a horrible experience, one she didn’t understand, and turned it into a reason to make the world a better place. The last line of the chorus of her groundbreaking song is below. I think it helps us understand her attitude and heart.
During Inktober 2021 I have featured the lyrics of female song writers. I started with Dolly Parton lyrics and thought the only appropriate way to end the thirty-one days of song was to end with this inspirational hit. She has raised the bar for women everywhere by taking full ownership of her past, her present, her appearance and her future. She did what people thought a ‘dumb blonde’ could never do. She built her own future by being herself, sharing from the heart and built an empire that few other artists could ever hope to understand.
When people mock us, and they will. When turmoil, strife, hard times and dark days come our way, which they will. When it feels like nothing we do is ever good enough. When we are judged by our appearance, our demographics, our history and our skills, know that it can be fuel for anger, or it can be the fuel that fires you up to build a fantastic future. It all boils down to choice. We can do anything we set our mind to do, so choose wisely.
Thank you for being with me this Inktober, stay tuned for a new black and white series of art in November and the Calligraphy Meets Chopped Challenge in December. There is more pen and prose to come!