Who knew a photo and an obscure but relevant quote would resonate so deeply…

“The whole world, myself included, seem to have one thing in common; we’re just a crowd of people who don’t really fit in anywhere attempting to convince one another that we do. I guess I’ll put my sunglasses on and pretend, like everyone else, that I too belong here.”

— Andrew McMahon

My reflection in the sunglasses is distorted, and my features disfigured and deformed. Needless to say, believing it to be an accurate and true representation of reality would be preposterous. Even pointing this out is ludicrous.

But yet…

More often than not, my perception of self is prone to similar levels of inaccuracies. From natural gifts and abilities, to skills I’ve worked to acquire, all get warped to the point of being nearly unrecognizable. And even harder is trying to separate fallacy from fact, when I know my perception is flawed but not knowing what is real and what is a fabrication of my mind.

However, sometimes reality gently but insistently shines a spotlight on you in the best possible way. Let me explain. No, let me show you. A kind soul left this comment and it was perfectly timed and perfectly worded.

“You May feel like you are just that tiny reflection in the glasses Andrew, but you belong here. You’re talented, compassionate, genuine, and worthy. We need more of you!”

As I’m trying to let those words soak into my soul, I want to challenge you to use this comment as an example, and share genuine encouragement and positive reinforcement whenever you can, as much as you can. You never know who needs to hear it, nor how badly they’re needing it.

Be kind. Always.

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