Believe in yourself….pass it on.


Months back, I saw this billboard in the O’Hare airport. I was so struck by it, I stood in front of it for a few minutes just thinking about how inspiring it was. I jotted down the web address and went to the site to check it out.

As it turns out, the story behind this billboard is even cooler. A family, who prefers to remain anonomous funds this effort. They are placing billboards all over the country with the hopes to inspire.

The mission of The Foundation for a Better Life, is to encourage adherence to a set of quality values through personal accountability and by raising the level of expectations of performance of all individuals regardless of religion or race. Through these efforts, the Foundation wants to remind individuals they are accountable and empowered with the ability to take responsibility for their lives and to promote a set of values that sees them through their failures and capitalizes on their successes. An individual who takes responsibility for his or her actions will take care of his or her family, job, community, and country.”

The reason this specific billboard stood out to me is because here we have jolly old Shrek, not the most attractive ogre in the world, plump and but totally inspiring. If you have not seen the movie, you must. The message is awesome, and it really relates to everything we talk about here on mamaVISION.

It all starts with a thought, a single positive thought that you can and will push on through adversity. You can pick yourself up and keep going, and there is a plan for your life.

Believe, concieve, achieve. Make it your mantra,



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18 Responses to Believe in yourself….pass it on.

  1. Jane says:

    I had to double check that I was actually seeing correctly! It certainly makes you look, and the images get stuck in your head, so they’re doing something right!

    I think that what they are doing is fantastic, and I love the fact that more people are making an effort to change the way society behaves and thinks.

    I can’t post properly, I’m running late for work (again) x

  2. Vanessa says:

    “‘The mission of The Foundation for a Better Life, is to encourage adherence to a set of quality values through personal accountability and by raising the level of expectations of performance of all individuals regardless of religion or race. ”

    well, first let me say i was too lazy to go over and check them out, maybe i will later. and also that it’s a totally cute bilboard.

    that said: “quality values” “personal accountability” and “regardless of race” huh? i can translate those words! they’re probably a bunch of right wing creeps who want to abolish welfare and affirmative action and are against gay rights. no gay people in them there “quality” neighborhoods, right? and them black people oughta just work harder and stop whining about poverty and racism. stop taxing us rich people to pay for your education and healthcare – start taking some personal responsibility! CREEEEEEPS.

    betcha. betcha anything.

  3. Vanessa says:

    well, it didn’t take a genius, but luckily i am one. funded by a conservative christian billionaire. who is against gay rights, natch. thanks mamaV for allowing me to do the homework on this one. unless you’re a right wing conservative anti-gay creep yourself? hmmmm?

    and then from there you can look at the guy who is funding it, who has also funded stuff like anti-gay rights measures.

    you’re welcome.

  4. Nats says:

    Oh vanessa! My special friend whom I find it interesting to talk to!
    You are amazing you know that? You have an amazing ability to turn everything into a different way. Albeit that most times you change any good thing into a negative thing. You are not alone in this I do it to. But have you ever thought that the people who are sending these messages (maybe for themselves, I don’t know and don’t choose to care) may actually be helping someone?
    The way I see it is that if one person feels better from seeing that billboard then it was totally worth the money.

    Couldn’t care less if they are doing it for themselves and also don’t care if the next billboard turns out to be something I do not agree with, the fact is this one billboard will help change some (not all, I’m not stupid) people’s mind about themselves!

    Look forward to seeing your reply 😉

    Love ya


  5. Vanessa says:

    hehe. aw, nats. i can turn negatives into positives too, honest! i just choose not to display that talent here very often 😛

    so, can bad people do good in the world? that’s a very good question, and i’m not sure what i think. deep, though.

    the bilboard is adorable. i like the bilboard. but mamaV plugged the foundation behind it. i went into a bit more detail about that on my blog: if anyone’s interested.

    so i have no trouble praising the bilboard itself, and if it lightens peoples day then hooray! but i have a lot of trouble with praising a foundation funded by someone who also funds anti-gay causes, maybe in part because i’m lesbian myself.

  6. Karrie says:

    Oh that is so wonderful. Finally ADS that say “YOU can empower yourself!” instead of making people feel like crap so that they would buy their stuff. People should be “buying” that instead – the belief that they can and SHOULD take charge of their lives.

  7. AlexaaaA says:

    WOW Nats, you’re so right….

    Vanessa have this great hability….

    And Vanessa, i totally ndestand what you are saying, and i belive that every foundation have a background… but hey… cant you just take the good things about it?? you will always find dark things in everything…

    And Besides, i think the point its the billboard…not the foundation…MamaV metioned it because they place it, so lets just take the good thing… lets forget the foundation and foucus on the billboard message…

    Hug* i hope you dont take it in a bad way…

  8. Vanessa says:

    i don’t agree that you can find something bad in everything. i think that’s cynical. there are lots of wonderful charities and foundations out there. this particular one happens to be run by gay bashing assholes, which is why i can like the billboard but take issue when mamaV goes and prints their publicity nonsense without taking the time to find out what they really stand for.

    and lets not mince words- they stand for abolishing any form of state assistance to poor people and for taking rights away from gay people.

  9. Elle says:

    Ok, let’s find something completely different to complain about this billboard…

    People always go on and on about the great message of the Shriek movies. The primary message praised being about physical appearances. But, wait! Didn’t they spend the ENTIRE first movie making fun of short people? Am I the only one who caught this. I’m 5′ 11″ and I didn’t miss that. I never brought it up with the 5′ 2″ guy friend I went to see the movie with, but I had to wonder what he thought about it…

    How about that for turning positive into negative? Maybe not a super-human ability like Vanessa, but I’m proud. 😛


  10. hillary says:

    Vanessa, i understand your second guessing, but it really seems to me that all the things you say are simply to try and bring mamav down a notch. especially with this post, it doesnt matter who’s funding it or why, it’s the message it gets across. just take things at face value sometimes.

  11. Vanessa says:

    hillary, i don’t disagree that i’m trying to bring mamav down a notch. i clearly am- i disagree with what she’s doing and her methods of doing it. but i don’t just randomly post negative things, and when she posts something i agree with i say that as well. for instance, i gave a positive comment on her last post.

    it matters a LOT if the organization is just a front for anti-gay rights christian conservatives. at least, it matters a lot to me. because it means that they’re committed to making sure people like me can’t live their lives and be happy, and they call it “values”. so i’m sorry if people keep saying its no big deal, but it is a big deal, especially if you happen to be gay.

  12. AlexaaaA says:

    Well Vanessa, i can see you took it in the bad way.

    So i will keep what its good for me, and the bad thing i will just ignore it… it just make me a bitter person…so is not that i dont undestand, im bi and i had girlfriend, so you cant tell me how is it, i know its hard, but i will not spend my energy in thigs that i cant even change so… i will only keeo the message of :

    “It all starts with a thought, a single positive thought that you can and will push on through adversity. You can pick yourself up and keep going, and there is a plan for your life. Believe, concieve, achieve. Make it your mantra”

    and i dont care who say it. its good for me, and that’s all that matter.

  13. Vanessa says:

    hey alexaaaA-

    i know you didn’t mean it in a bad way, sorry for being a little touchy. i think it’s a great way to live your life, but i hope people understand that there’s a place in this world for skeptics and critical thinkers too! i’m not in a happy place in my life right now, but even when i am i still keep my critical thinking and skepticism- i wouldn’t be me without them!

    no hard feelings? (and that goes for everyone here)

  14. Sarah says:

    vanessa.. i immediately thought the exact same things. “personal accountability” and “regardless of race” yep those african americans in new orleans should be accountable for what happened to them.. its their fault theyre living in poverty!!! i hate those kind of people.

    sorry mama v but i dont thing this billboard was referring to body image or truly beilieving and having confidence in yourself. that doesn’t always buy you success.

  15. Rose says:

    Hi Vanessa,

    For all of your effort here (6 comments!!), why didn’t you dig to find or suggest an alternative? A group that is not Right-wing, anti-gay, etc. I am with you on your political views — trust me on that one. But c’mon, if you’re going to moan, put some meat on the table.


  16. mamavision says:

    Ok all, I have to say this post shows the reason why having a blog is so fun and important. This provides such a great forum for discussion, and I love it.

    Vanessa: Thanks for digging up the info on the person behind the funding (although Wikipedia has been known for falsehoods at times, this one seems like its legit). It is totally concerning that the mission statement says “religon or race” and conveniently leaves out sexual preference.

    Anti-gay I am not, in fact I am a major supporter of gay/lesbian rights so this bugs the crap out of me….kind of brings down the whole initiative (side story, my 6when my daughter was 5 she had an argument with a friend because she wanted to have a lesbian barbie wedding and her friend was insisting that was not allowed!)

    Did you read the post from Rose above, this is interesting as well- what is the alternative? Any groups you know of that are doing something better?

    Bottomline, I still love the message in this billboard and all the others in their campaign. You girls need to be PUMPED UP and start believing in yourself so you start soaring how you were meant to!

    Love you all,

  17. hillary says:

    vanessa- i did notice that you commented positively on her last post, however it still retained a touch of hmmm…. i dont even know the word, i want to say arrogance but i dont think that’s it. now forgive my ignorance, but i dont see how they would be able to ensure that people “like you” (or “us,” rather) aren’t able to live our lives and be happy.

  18. Vanessa says:

    rose&mamaV- well, i’m not gonna do any more homework today. but to name 3 good organizations that i have personally worked for in the past: the family violence prevention fund does good work around domestic violence. working families is neat if you’re feeling political. and the elizabeth stone house is a shelter for domestic violence victims and mentally ill women. all of those i’ve been personally associated with, so i know they’re worth it. or just give money to public television!

    mamav- didn’t think you were anti-gay. despite what it may seem like from every single thing i say, you’ve actually won me over quite a bit from when i first came to the blog. and i see your next post brings up some of the issues i’m most concerned about!

    and hillary- i guess to some extent my personality is what it is. i’m sorry this has gotten to be such a hostile exchange though. i’m kinda outspoken and i like to fake being super-confident. that applies whether i’m giving a positive or negative comment and it might not be everyones thing, but its who i am i guess.

    as for how “they” would prevent us from living our lives and being happy… well i dont think i would be too happy if my sexual behavior landed me in jail or in a psychiatric hospital to be “cured”. i wouldn’t be so happy if society as a whole went back to hating and ostracising gay people. now, i don’t think “they” are capable of achieving that- but its what “they” would like to have happen. i’m not a big pro-gay-rights activist or anything, but i guess i’m strongly anti-anti-gay-rights people.

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