We’ve all got that something. It’s the reason we hesitate to introduce ourselves, the first thing we think about when we undress with someone new, that idiosyncrasy, that flaw we’ve been taught to believe is the whole reason we’re so shy and ill at ease around others.
It’s been hammered into us that we’re physical or emotional Quasimodos, hunched, damaged, unworthy of attention from those who glide. Every mistake, every awkward conversation is damning evidence until, like fools, we convince ourselves it’s so.
But that something is our uniqueness, our special proposition to the world that no one else has. Most dismiss it as defect, and that’s a shame. Our difference, in particular, is what makes us worth knowing.
Across a bar, in a park, at work, we recognize the same terse, pained expressions we see in the mirror. Someone taught wrongly that differences should be hidden. Someone who doesn’t know that being exceptional, distinct, is their best attribute. It’s hard, living that deluded way. So with a glance and a smile, we say, I see you, and you’re totally cool. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to open them up. Next thing you know, you’re sitting next to a person with an incredible story. If you’re lucky they share it. And you’re infinitely richer as a result.