Height is our altitude – that distance between the top of our head and the ground we stand up but has nothing to do with our value, our potential, or what we will accomplish. Yet there seems to be an attitude or perception that being taller is better, that being short makes us inferior, and that being average makes us invisible.
That’s not true, but there are times on our path when we others that way, and we wonder how people see us. I’ve understood this all my life because I was average for my age, always. I was average looking, average athletically, but that was all I was average at.
I was above average intellectually, and horribly inadequate socially.
I had creative dreams and desires, ambitions actually, but didn’t feel the support to believe in myself.
I had parents, no siblings, and tons of cousins – but my family moved when I was eight, so I was an only child, a lonely child, and life is ‘average’ in our home. I was provided for adequately – we didn’t have much money, but there was always good food on the table and a roof overhead. My dad worked hard, and I got that work ethic from him. That wasn’t average – and I’ve never been an average worker because of that influence. My mother taught my cynicism and sarcasm – and I’ve been trying to get rid of that all my life …
I don’t know why I felt the need to write this column today – because I would expect most of us are feeling less than ideal, inadequate in some way, or just frustrated with our average-ness. If not today, then some other day. I think we all do.
At a few things, I am exceptionally skilled, talented, perhaps, and very good at what I do. At some things, I am horribly inadequate – as I’m sure, most people are in some situations. At most things, I’m rather average.
In this time of #-hashtagging – about issues of race, gender, equality, rights, and the horrors a lot of people must deal with in their lives, I don’t fit any disadvantaged group.
Everyone describes themselves in two ways – what we tell others, and what tell ourselves.
The truth is, none of us average. We are all exceptional at something, and most of us are exceptional at many things – we know it, but the rest of the world doesn’t. And that doesn’t matter.
Our stature in the world is not about our height, but more about what we stand up for, what we stand up against, what we cannot tolerate – and that knowledge forms our backbone, holds us up, and makes most of us far taller than we appear to others.
While I have few regrets about my life, my family background, and my early days – I wish, if I could do it over again, I would have liked to know the bigness of the world and the potential we all have, a little sooner.
If I’d had a picture painted for me, or a kick in the pants, or some other kind of push, I would have had a very different life – and that brings me to both conflict in my head and a realization that I am so very happy. I HAVE the experiences I’ve had, which made me who I am, and life continues with room and time for so many things yet to be done, and the only thing standing in my path – standing the way – is me.
In every trouble we have, and every joy, every painful memory, and every triumph – there is something in common in every success and every failure: the person we see in the mirror.
Look back at everything you know, everything you’ve done, everywhere you’ve been ~ you were there.