Personal Acceptance

Lucinda Franks was born in 1946 in Massachusetts. She was a 1968 graduate of Vassar College with a degree in English. She went to work for the United Press International as soon as she graduated. In spite of her degree, her job was primarily one of being a maid to the males in the press room.

She was eventually given a reporting assignment mostly covering beauty pageants. Using her own funds, she traveled to Northern Ireland at the start of the war over the status of Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. Her boss did not want to have her cover the war because UPI had a policy against women covering wars. But she persuaded him to let her stay.

In 1970, Lucinda co-wrote a story on a radical group called the Weather Underground. The group was making a bomb to be exploded at an Army dance. But the bomb exploded prematurely and killed several members of the Weather Underground.

Lucinda won a Pulitzer Prize for her story along with her co-author. She was the youngest person and the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize. Expecting congratulations from her colleagues, she found none. Initially this affected her self-confidence and made her feel like she didn’t deserve the award. Later in life, she described the snub by her colleagues as “gender degradation”.

Lucinda had what is called “a nose for the news”. She was known for her behind the scenes stories of the O.J. Simpson trial, Hilary Clinton’s reaction to her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, and the dangers of red dye in food. She was also the first journalist to cover the biochemical causes of alcoholism.

Lucinda proved through her lifetime of important writing that the Pulitzer Prize was well deserved. She did not let the lack of acceptance deter her from her life’s purpose.

Just imagine the individual strength it takes to continue on one’s life journey when initially others don’t accept your work? Just imagine the conscience of those who hold back acceptance of others based entirely on jealousy or discriminatory judgements? Just imagine how many of the conflicts affecting us today are based upon one word – acceptance?

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“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” – Stephanie Perkins (Author)

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