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by Abigail Van Buren

Older Student at Last Achieves Her Great Degree of Success

DEAR ABBY: I had to respond to the letter from "Proud to Be Me in California," who had been teased from early childhood. "Proud" developed an eating disorder and became convinced she was flawed. A friend told her to reaffirm her goodness and belief in herself by saying out loud that she was a beautiful and special human being.

This reminded me of a story my husband told. He was a performer and appeared several times on the "Ed Sullivan Show." One night he was standing in the wings waiting to go on. Sammy Davis Jr. was going on ahead of him.

Sammy wore a large ring. Just before he made his entrance, he kissed his ring several times -- each time saying, "You're a star. You're a star." -- MRS. VAUGHN MEADER

DEAR MRS. MEADER: Sometimes even people who seem to have everything need to give themselves a pep talk. Like your husband, Sammy Davis Jr. was a brilliant talent. If that was the secret of his success, it certainly worked.