We live in a time when freedom of speech is at its peak. Everyone can say whatever (on a national platform, such as the internet) when they want and no one cares who they offend. That’s bad. And contrary to what anyone thinks, there are times when we need to bite our tongues and keep our thoughts to ourselves.
What many of us forget is that the struggles of our previous generations have allowed us to be vocal and afforded us the opportunities we have today. Women like Katherine Goble Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson have certainly done so when it comes to the interest of STEM careers.
The movie Hidden Figures shows us how three women with beauty, brains, and class stayed strong without losing their sense of self. POWERFUL. While watching this film, I cried, laughed and felt proud to be black. I walked out of the theater empowered and excited about my future. Here are my four takeaways from Hidden Figures and what we can all apply to our lives.
1. People may not respect you today but they will tomorrow.
In 1961, three black women played an integral role in launching a man into space. Much of their work was accredited to others, but decades later they were honored for their greatness. Katherine Goble Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson paved the way for many women. It’s a testament to why we should be giving 100% in everything we do because we never know our influence on others or who’s watching our example.
2. Your greatness may not always be appreciated.
Everyone will not always appreciate your work…your greatness. That’s okay as long as you know who you are. Work hard to prove to yourself that you can, not for others.
3. Be a master at your craft and always be willing to learn.
In the Hidden Figures movie, Dorothy Vaughan committed to learning how to operate the IBM 7090. She taught herself Fortran and did what no one else at NASA could at the time. Mrs. Vaughan had the vision to see what was to come and carved out a path for not only herself but for other black women. She was the leader NASA didn’t initially want to acknowledge her for being. Dorothy Vaughan taught us that vision is everything.
4. It’s okay if people don’t believe in your dreams as long as you do.
Hidden Figures’ Mary Jackson had aspirations of being an engineer, but at the time in 1961, the career choice was unheard of for a woman, let alone a black woman. Mrs. Jackson fought the courts and societal norms to become NASA’s first black engineer. She knew her end goal and decided nothing would stop her. Never let anyone or anything stifle your growth.
If you have not yet seen Hidden Figures, please do so ASAP. This one-of-a-kind inspirational film will leave you inspired to reach for the stars. If you’ve already witnessed the greatness of the film, how has it inspired you?