Standing tall, standing proud.

While the world has been discussing Caitlyn Jenner, Planned Parenthood, and the confederate flag, across the globe, a sixteen year old gymnastic prodigy was showing the world what true strength is. Her high scoring acrobatic feats aren’t her only strength, her strength of character shines brighter than most twice her age. After winning six medals including two gold for Malaysia at the Asian Games, outcry over her attire was heard from religious leaders back home.

The skimpy leotards that gymnasts the world over wear, show far too much for a female representing a responsible country like Malaysia. Of course, within every outrage comes a moderate amount of support for the offender from others. Some Black Conservatives proudly supported the Confederate flag when everyone demanded it’s removal, one was recently killed. Farah Ann Abdul Hadi fired back at her critics not with anger, but with strength. Cries for a more religiously appropriate and less revealing garb were silenced by a simple quote on her Instagram. “Small minds can’t understand big spirits. To be great, you have to be willing to be mocked, hated, and misunderstood. Stay strong.”

These powerful words sent a clear message to her detractors. Last night I attended a function in my heels, and afterwards while picking up dinner, I had to stand in line (in public) wearing white and gold pumps. I heard the whispers and chuckles, but held my head high, like Farah landing the perfect dismount. Farah followed up her Instagram message with a tweet of her own essentially slamming the lid on the chatter. “Empty cans make the most noise”

People looking to find fault in others are heard because they boast of their perceived greatness. Great people need not boast since their actions speak for themselves. Everyday is a new opportunity for greatness and this young lady is leaps, bounds, and flips beyond her years.

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