Leaning in to see the computer screen, I could smell the man’s breath and see the swollen, ingrown hairs on his cheek. I wondered if he was at all self-conscious about those things. He thanked me for being patient, told me that I was his second customer ever; his eyebrows and upper lip were sweaty. I wanted him to feel comfortable. Everyone won’t be patient with him, but I will be; I decided.
I thought about my breath, my blemishes, my insecurities. I wondered why these things distract me so much from living. I don’t want anyone to see my flaws – so I find myself curious about those who have theirs out in the open. I see the beauty in it. The freedom.
How many times have I been self-conscious, uncertain of my appearance or my knowledge, and chosen to be quiet or run away when I could have contributed something meaningful? Thinking that my existence would be a burden to someone. My appearance, off-putting. My input, irrelevant.
The salesman was informative and thorough. His nervousness, endearing. He knew most things, admitted what he didn’t, eager to serve and figure out. I left a message for his boss, singing his praises.
Mr. NewSalesman, you reminded me that I don’t have to look or smell or be perfect to be worthy and effective. Sincerity and intention over compulsion. Over vanity. Over doubt. All day.
Look for the inspiration in everyday people, everyday things, everyday. I’ll see you out there.