Violet Beauregarde: [hugs Wonka] Mr.Wonka, I’m Violet Beauregarde.
Willy Wonka: [Wonka looks at her terrified as she chews her gum] Oh. I don’t care.
Violet Beauregarde: Well, you should care because I’m the girl who’s gonna win the special prize at the end.
Willy Wonka: Well, you do seem confident and confidence is key
My kids love watching this version of Wonka (I prefer Gene Wilder — I have a crush). But, I have to say there are many memorable quotes in this version as well. Like that one — confidence is key. But where does confidence come from?
I’m not really sure myself. I think it comes from knowledge. I think it comes from experience. I think it comes from attitude. I think it comes from pretending well enough that no one will question you. I think it comes from many sources. I think it ultimately comes from yourself.
When I was in my second year of teaching, I was a mere 23. I looked like many of the 12-year-old girls in my school so much that I was stopped on two different occasions by sixth grade teachers asking why I was out of class. I remember explaining, scared as if I was in trouble, that I was a teacher — there, just like them. I taught a class of preschoolers with special needs. Some were in wheelchairs, some were loud, some were always crying, some were always running away — all were precious, and they were mine.
I would take my class to the lunchroom everyday, just like all the other teachers. I sat with them, I fed them, I kept them from running away, I apologized when one escaped and stole french fries off an unsuspecting child’s tray — they were mine. At 23, I had 17 children who depended on me for just about everything.
That year in the cafeteria, there was a woman who came in to monitor the lunch time raucous and attempt to keep the peace. She and I instantly connected — in a very bad way. I caught her staring at my kids in a way that made me angry. I caught her rolling her eyes at my kids. I caught her telling the other students to stay away from my kids. All of these things I ignored — I was scared and young and she was much older and much more vocal.
One day, on our dreaded trip to the cafeteria for lunch, she was outside the door, with her usual scowl. I walked past. I lowered my eyes. I ignored. When my kids were all seated and I was opening lunch boxes and milk and wiping faces and keeping them from running away — she approached me. She told me she didn’t want my kids to sit with the other students anymore because we bothered everyone. She told me we could sit in the back of the cafeteria where no one would have to see us. Something in me snapped. I had ignored long enough. My kids needed me to defend them. I rose from my position and pointed my 23-year-old finger in her face as I yelled an expression that I thought would hit home with her. I told her that no one was going to put my kids in the back of the bus. That’s all I said and I sat back down. Shaking. Furious. Scared because I knew her rebuttal was only seconds away and I was at that point in my anger where coherent speech eluded me. She, however, turned and walked away — and quit the next day.
I don’t know what builds confidence, really. I think it just occurs. I think there are times in our lives that call for us to be confident — or rather, that call for us to behave confidently. Maybe just behaving as if your confident will fool even yourself just long enough for the confidence to actually take hold.
Confidence is key.
I found this poem by Virginia Satir and hope you enjoy it. I also thought I would share one of my newest feel good songs with you! I dare you not to feel good and confident when you hear this (oh, and I bet you sing along too!)