As we count our skill-sets, most of us overlook the ability to say “to hell with it”.
There is tremendous value in that skill-set.
People who can accept themselves just the way they are or don’t give a damn what other people think of them are brilliant. And well adjusted.
I am an ongoing student of acceptance.
I recently read about a study conducted by economist Daniel Hamermesh that ugly people earn less than average-looking people, and average-looking people earn less than beautiful people. I should be shocked, but I’m not.
He goes on to report that the difference in earnings over a lifetime between the typical good–looking worker and the below average-looking worker is approximately $230,000. What?!
I hate surveys like this, especially when they are offered up to help sell a book, which is the case with Mr. Hamermesh. I’m not one to shoot the messenger, but do we really need yet another validation that some of us are allegedly worth less than others? I say no thank you.
In raising my beautiful daughter I told her that there would always be someone in the room who would be prettier, who would have better clothes, who would have a bigger house and who would go on better vacations. But there would never be anyone in the room that was just like her and she was pretty damn special just the way she was. I was afraid that during the daily onslaught of well meaning strangers complimenting her beauty, she would quickly learn to lean on it and value it more than it was worth. She didn’t.
Now I’m told that her beauty actually does carry more worth. I’m the first to admit that life seems generally easier for the pretty people, but since I don’t count myself as one, I can’t really be sure.
I am sure that money doesn’t really buy happiness (pretty much all the rich people I know are fairly miserable), and beauty doesn’t either.
Trying to be something we are not is almost as sad as trying to avoid what we really are.
I know people who are amazingly creative and talented but are too afraid to release their gifts for fear of failing or not measuring up. I know people who are in failing relationships but will not leave because they are too afraid to be alone or don’t think there will be anyone else that will love them. These people are magnificent beauties in every sense of the word.
I also know an abundance of people who are not even close to the legends they believe themselves to be in their own minds. Coincidentally, many of them are beautiful or rich or both.
Denial is a cruel thing whichever way it slants and very tough to see up close. It confines us to a destiny which is less than what we are living. Denial robs us of our greatness plain and simple.
Here’s the deal. I think that we should live up to what we are, and if it’s not enough, change what we can and love what is left.
Maybe our happiness lies in our ability to accept what we see, who we are and what we know for sure. They never taught that in school. Too bad. I struggle with it every day.
Popeye had it right. Whoever you are … own it!