A valiant effort

Melissa Ann Howell Schier
7 min readDec 6, 2021


Prince Valiant

When I was little I did not like certain things about myself. I look at pictures now and do not understand why I didn’t? I was a cute little girl with long skinny legs, knobby knees, big teeth, freckles, braids, and big expressive eyes.

But back then I thought Asians who were petite were MUCH cuter than I was and one day in the eighth or ninth grade, I got hair dye and colored my hair dark brown and cut it shoulder length with bangs so I would look “Asian”.

I thought I did a pretty good “conversion” with this hairstyle, until I walked out of the bathroom, and my family saw me, and they said “hello Prince Valiant”.

Now back then, my dad loved to read the comics and Prince Valiant was not only NOT ASIAN he was a MAN. To me, the name also sounded like “someone who tried really hard but failed…like someone’s last “valiant effort”.

I was horrified and went immediately to get a hair stripper which unfortunately turned my hair turned bright red. With a bag over my head, my mom took me to a beauty salon to dye my hair back to its original color. Oh my!

Now today I can look back and laugh at that time and I know that though there is nothing wrong with Asians, I can “measure up” without looking ANYTHING like them. I still mess with my hair,but in a good way, and I now LOVE my eyes their color, shape and the size they are. I love my legs and I am grateful I HAVE a booty where my pants easily stay up without a belt. =)

My pants stay up …no belt needed =)

I wondered however, about why people ever felt negative about themselves in the first place, and wondered if it is, at this point in time, because of computers?

Computers (how we communicate) appear to be much of what some of us are allowing to drive our “behavior” and keep in mind MUCH of the tech industry and just about everything we use is “made in china.” If “computer marketing” is driven by China, has it “not so subtly” influenced us to feel “inferior” if we are American or anything other than Asian? Supposedly this “great reset” has been in the works for many years and is about computers running everything because they “do not make mistakes” (sic) lol.

And, not only that, if “who we are” as a society, is suddenly now supposed to be “fluid”, is it because computers, who seem to be “driving” (behaviors, elections, Sexual orientation and even gender?? etc), are being stored UNDER WATER in order to continue to operate without overheating? That is fluid all right! lol

It makes me wonder how come PEOPLE are not beating up COMPUTERS over climate change instead of beating up other people, because people do not cause our waters to “heat up”, and BIG TECH is projecting climate change on US when THEY are the ones ACTUALLY “hurting the environment” (for those who seem so concerned about “climate change”).

Do we really need all these second rate computer apps to enjoy our lives? I say no we do not. Should we be using computers to “rate” people because isn’t that making computers “first rate” and people “second rate”? (lol get that?) Can we determine the value of a human life when we look at life the way a computer does? HARDLY. Human beings are extremely valuable at all stages of life and I am grateful to have a unique perspective as human and not machine.

Oh and by the way, real people, not computer images of people, are much more fun to get to know in my opinion and those relationships are not fake. Real people meeting face to face, will eliminate most “cat fishing” and will also save men from sending a lot of money to fake beautiful women in other countries…lol.

My dad told me I am Scottish, Irish, Dutch and British as some of my heritage, AND I am human and I am a girl and I am spiritual because God made me the way I am and I know I am God’s most VALIANT effort. I LOVE this heritage and I look at my parents and I am THRILLED I look and behave like them and I am VERY proud to be an American.

A child who is greatly valued and loved by their parents will love and greatly value their parents. Behavior from children is mimicked from the parents and parents who are disinterested, selfish, impatient and too busy for their children will have children who are selfish, impatient, disinterested and too busy for their parents when they grow up.

But in contrast, parents who take time with them, and help a child understand God and God’s love, will make it possible for children to be able to understand their own innate value. Children who learn this and see how their parents love each child, and see how their parents are generous, patient and kind with them, will try very hard to radiate and reflect this LOVE back out, when they grow up.

I have tried very hard to show love and to encourage and appreciate the qualities in my own kids and also be an example of kindness myself, in spite of my mistakes, knowing that my own kids will recognize my efforts, understand my trials, and will want to emulate the good I have done, and be proud of their parents the way I am proud of mind.

We can make mistakes but it is not how we start our “race” that is important, it is how we “finish the race” that really matters, and we can correct our mistakes when we see them, knowing that God is not finished with us and is always refining us and improving us. I bring God into my daily life by being grateful for my family, and by starting the day with a prayer of gratitude for all that I have.

I am grateful that as a child, one of five little girls, my parents told me over and over that I was talented as a writer, an artist, a photographer and that girls can be strong and accomplish great things. My dad always called us his five beautiful babies.

My mom always cooked us delicious meals and made us bountiful lunches for school and made sure we prayed thanks before every meal. She taught us how to be of service to others and how to read good books.

To my parents we were precious, exactly as God created us, ageless, useful and indestructible, and we were treated like princesses and held in high esteem and asked our opinion and included in all age appropriate discussions. Our dinner table was a place of laughter and I remember my dad loved to tease my mom and make us all laugh and my parents encouraged us to talk about school, our friends and ask questions about current events. My dad always wanted us to get involved in world events and to think for ourselves.

My parents sent us to the best Christian school they could, but a lot of what we learned came directly from them, from conversations we had and things we did as a family as my parents did not rely on others to “form us”, they took a great personal interest in our daily lives. They spent time with us at the park and on bike rides and telling stories and teaching us about God. My parents invested in us as individuals, encouraging us and putting OUR happiness and best interest above their own. Because I was treated like a princess, I believed I had great value and was able to recognize and quickly dismiss any narrative that said otherwise.

No I was not prince Valiant, even though it was a good joke at the time, but I do believe in chivalry, knights in shining armor, and “Godspeed”, because God and family are what should orchestrate and shape our lives, not governments, not computers, not apps. and not China.

My painted attempt to reproduce my dads painting when he painted the knight part of the painting GodSpeed below.

Hello Princes and Princesses, you are perfect the way you are and if something needs to be changed in your behavior, God is the only potter, not dirty Hairy =).



Melissa Ann Howell Schier

HoustonWorkout on YouTube, mom of five, journalist and artist and conservative who values life.