Wisdom is so subjective.
But, on the whole, there are some absolutes.
If I need solid financial advice, I seek out a trusted banker.
If I have a medical issue, I’ll find a way to see the most specialized doc in the field.
To alleviate stress, I’ll call the best masseuse… you get the idea.
In that vein, you’d think that for lessons on identity, affirmation, etc.., I’d call up a therapist or a good girlfriend.
But that’s where you’d be wrong.
At least in the case of my Thursday morning last week.
I’d had the date in my calendar for weeks and I knew it would be a long day.
Not a scary day at all. Just a stressful one.
A day you’re glad to get in your rear view mirror.
That morning – naturally – I overslept my alarm and felt like a chicken with my head cut off scrambling to get dressed.
On the way to my appointments for the day, I had to swing by another locale to pick up some records. You know the kind of morning I’m talking about. Just STRESS. The kind of garden-variety stress we all face that can tend to accumulate like a snowball running downhill.
EXHAUSTED more than anything!
As I was standing in line waiting for my records, I noticed an adorable little black boy named Kendrick, age 3.
He was standing with his mom in front of me, dressed to the absolute nines. Tiny khaki corduroy pants, red and white check button-down, tailored black jacket and red tennies.
Of course, I say to him, “Hey Buddy! You are DARLING! What is your name?”
His back was to me and he didn’t even turn around. Not a peep from his lips.
So I said, “You know what, don’t even worry about it. I’m shy too, I completely understand.”
At this point, his mom offers me an apology and tries to prompt her son to tell me his name. Finally, she does so on his behalf. We both just chuckle and turn back to the desk.
Not two seconds later, that little angel-baby – whose stylish back was about two feet in front of me – JUST STARTED BACKING UP.
Do you know that honey backed all the way up to me, tucking right into the front of my legs (his head barely topping my knees)?
Never said a word. Didn’t even look me in the eyes.
But that little three-year-old taught me all there is to know about ACKNOWLEDGMENT and AFFIRMATION.
He stayed pressed against me for a good 2-3 minutes – an eternity in toddler time.
I don’t remember a time I’ve ever felt more accepted.
What a tiny love bug.
About three minutes later, he switched back into toddler-boy mode… knocking the phone off the receiver on the desk, swiping some papers off onto the floor, etc…
I call sweet moments that like absolute “God winks.”
I think one of the greatest gifts we can give another is ACKNOWLEDGMENT.
I feel this from the depths of my toes.
Have you ever had someone in your life who – stemming from their own insecurities – fails to look you in the eye, won’t include you in the conversation, or makes you feel like you’re not even present?
Please know that this is so much more a reflection of them than it is of you.
I would bet everyone reading this has felt that way!
With not even a shred of the social skills we all possess, that little three-year old I met last week taught me volumes about accepting others – just exactly where they are, validating others’ worth and shucking the belief that any one of us is an island.
Do you know what’s amazing? When we finally take off the masks, acknowledge to each other that we’re all in the same boat, and admit – “Shucks, what you see is what you get – take it or leave it,” it is REMARKABLE what happens.
I’ve been writing this blog as a labor of love for more than two years. It’s one of my most favorite things I’ve ever done.
And I’m blessed to have a very faithful following. Thanks to my readers!
But do you know that my last post, “So This is 39” exponentially – and cumulatively – surpassed any stats I’ve ever accrued as a blogger?
Judging by Facebook shares alone, that one silly post garnered more than four times the traffic of any post I’ve ever written.
To date, about a thousand people have shared it. I think it’s fair to say that I hit a nerve.
And that gives me crazy pleasure.
Because it wasn’t a post about keeping up with the Jones’, beating back the clock or “faking it until you make it.”
On the contrary, it was about vulnerability, transparency and no-holds-barred truths.
In others words, a universal language to which we can all relate.
Nobody is perfect. Not a single one of us.
But there are some AWESOME folks out there who DESERVE to be celebrated – not for their perfection, but for their humanity and HUMILITY!
I just wanted to give a special thanks to those of you who shared the post and who are willing to acknowledge your far-from-perfect selves.
You – and my little three-year-old friend – are the ones I welcome into my fold.
Wisdom from the mouths of babes.
The very best kind.