My fourth installment in my tribute to Women’s History Month is the mesmerizing Dolly Parton. Facts about Dolly are widely available, so this is just a quickie post to tell the world what I love about her.
To me, Dolly Parton’s most admirable asset is her overwhelming kindness. I have always been an admirer of Dolly’s. When I was a child I loved watching her in Christmas movies with my Mamaw, as I grew I developed a fondness for her music, and as an adult I have become acquainted with all of the truly good and kind things Dolly has done and continues to do for others. Dolly Parton is a class act, who never fails to behave with compassion and generosity.
It’s no secret that Dolly is a beautiful person inside and out. In an interview with teen vogue she says “I really do ask God every single day to let me do something, say something, be something that matters to somebody else. To make somebody feel good. To let people see a spark of love.” This is a philosophy Dolly has consistently embodied since she rose to fame. She has never forgotten her upbringing, and she has never forgotten the crippling constraints of lives lived in poverty. She actively seeks to improve the world around her, and to better the lives of people in rural Tennessee. DollyWood brought jobs to Tennessee and helped revitalize the economy. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library promotes early childhood literacy by providing children with a free, age-appropriate book each month. And no one can forget Dolly’s generosity toward those whose homes were lost to forest fires this past fall.
Dolly also speaks and sings of love and acceptance. She values diversity, and perhaps doesn’t get the credit she deserves. “I want to be accepted myself, and I not only accept, but celebrate, the difference in everyone.” That sounds a lot like the golden rule, a principle instilled in most people during childhood, but is somehow abandoned by many as we grow. It is easy to grow bitter in a world that is often frightening and doesn’t make sense. It’s remarkable that a woman of Dolly’s stature has managed to embody and exhibit such optimism on a daily basis, while I know adults who are still struggling to learn to flush the toilet.
Plus Dolly, who is 70 years-old now, has not slouched in her career, either. She still tours, and her most recent album, Pure & Simple, was released in August of 2016. Dolly, may you continue to be the beacon of positivity that you are and the immaculate role model we don’t deserve, but so desperately need. You are a true gem Dolly Parton, may the world be blessed with your presence for many years to come.