Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Accepting Compliments

One of the interesting side effects of writing these daily thoughts is that I get to know new people. Much to my surprise strangers who read my writing sometimes want to meet me. I am not sure who they expect to meet and occasionally when I meet such a person or persons I wonder if they are disappointed with me. Do I meet their expectations? Some people think I am wiser than I am and when my very ordinary self shows up, it may be a letdown for them. I am not trying to be humble. Despite all the compliments I have received for my writing I still feel like a very ordinary guy. Sometimes I think there’s this “daily thoughts guy” and then there’s me. Yesterday, for example, I had lunch with three people who are “fans” of my writing. One of them I was meeting for the first time. Sitting there in the restaurant, quietly eating my turkey club sandwich, I wondered what this new person expected to experience. They were all from our corporate office and they looked the part. I showed up in my Tilley hat and jeans looking like a farmer. It’s usually difficult to live up to an image and other’s expectations. In such situations I try to be as unpretentious as possible. One thing I have learned from such encounters is to be more accepting of compliments. I think most people are uncomfortable with compliments. I believe it was Nelson Mandela who wrote a speech where he said that most people are afraid of their own greatness. Most of us are insecure about who we are. To paraphrase Nelson Mandela, “who are we to think that we are beautiful and talented”? Why should I doubt that three educated people from our corporate office think I am talented? I am who I am. How I got to be who I am is still something of a mystery. I am also who I am for a reason. Perhaps part of my reason for being is to spread my message with three people from our corporate office while I eat a turkey club sandwich. At the very least I have three new friends.

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