Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk in the footsteps of a someone who has a disability or who is very different from everyone else? I know because that’s exactly what I do when I become my alter-ego, Sophie Longhoofer. For 40 years, Sophie has walked into restaurants, conferences and other venues where I was the keynote speaker. She wanders around, not speaking, making herself obvious. Before I am called upon to speak, Sophie changes into me. When I am introduced as the guest speaker, no one recognizes me as Sophie.
Then I talk about how we judge others and ourselves on the wrong criteria. Everyone in the room is confronted with the fact they treated Sophie very different than they treated me, totally based on how I am dressed.
It has been a valuable learning experience for me. I have learned how uncomfortable people are when someone who is different walks into the room. I have learned how important it is to welcome different people, regardless of how they look.
As a motivational speaker, I found Sophie to be an extremely valuable object lesson on how we treat others and how we treat ourselves, usually based on the wrong criteria. You can read more about my life as Sophie in my book, Two Faces of Me.
Ms. Donnellan is only available for limited speaking engagements since she retired in January 2021. However, any of the Authorized Dealers, listed here in the “Nonprofit Resources” tab, would be excellent possibilities for speakers and workshops.