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Rigoberta Menchú - Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Rigoberta Menchú – Nobel Peace Prize Awardee, Interview excerpt:  English Translation

If you have the generosity as a human being, which is something positive, you will find many proposals where you can be successful. Self esteem, for us Latinos, or indigenous people, or people who have experienced poverty tend to have lower self esteem. We need to put out that internal fire, and our capacity to move forward. And, we turn ourselves into victims, and we say, “Oh it's because I don’t speak Spanish, or I don’t speak English, or that my skin is a darker shade or because I am fat.” We have an enormous amount of excuses to appease our self esteem. I think if we rid ourselves from all of that, and just be who you are, happy with how you already are, you won’t need anything else. The only thing left to do is to bring out your strength - which is a different perspective. Try to do what you never thought you could, and stop saying you can’t. Of course you can, try it. When people try to do things ... look me in the kitchen - I didn’t know how to cook paella but, well I’ll try to do it. The first time it may turn out bad, but the second and third time it was better and I make it until I think it’s right.

You should never fantasize over someone else’s riches. I have what I have, but if I dream that one day I will have the best motorcycle, or more money, or the next thing - I am not working for them. I am working towards my own happiness. I think something needs to be done because us Latinas and those of us who come from small towns who have suffered a lot - we tend to wish for what we don’t have. It’s more valuable to say, “Today I have this and with this I will be miraculous.” A positive attitude like that, reminds us of all the good things we do have.

And finally, saving, organization, and planning - you can’t be successful if you are not organized. Even when dealing with the bare minimum at home. If you are organized, you have time to comb your hair, and to enjoy life. If you’re not organized you leave room for depression, and you waste more time being depressed than you would have getting organized for a better life, quality of life. Organization, planning, objectives, and goals are things we use in a political and social life. Never try to imitate others.

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