Beyond Value

I have some serious self esteem problems.

You just heard the sound of hundreds of people saying simultaneously: “Ya think?”

If you happened to be around when I blurted out specifics of my tortured childhood, you have context.  If not, you’re just going to have to trust me on this one (for I will NOT repeat it):  I will forever feel like an outsider, and that somebody, somewhere is laughing at me and making fun of me.  It’s stupid, it’s silly, it’s not very Christian – but it is what it is.

So, I’m the annoying guy that tries a little too hard to fit in.

One scene from Silence of the Lambs that always brings me to tears is the first interview between Starling and Lecter.  He sees right through Clarice’s act and says:

You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste. Good nutrition has given you some length of bone, but you’re not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling? And that accent you’ve tried so desperately to shed? Pure West Virginia. What’s your father, dear? Is he a coal miner? Does he stink of the lamp? You know how quickly the boys found you… all those tedious sticky fumblings in the back seats of cars… while you could only dream of getting out… getting anywhere… getting all the way to the FBI.

That’s me.

Anyway, when it comes down to it, I have no more education than the person who served you fast food today.  That’s just a fact.  You might have gathered I’m a little self-conscious about this fact, among other things.

Yet, there are a handful of people I interact with who are far more educated than I, who, even when I’m being a jackass, treat me no different than they would a peer in the halls of learning.  They don’t have to do that.  They could knock me down, dismiss me, remind me of my background like Lecter did Starling.  Unequal relationships are fraught with peril. 

Yes, it’s simple courtesy.

But, for a guy like me, this is a gift beyond value.

You know who you are.  I just wanted to thank you. 

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8 Responses to “Beyond Value”

  1. badbadivy Says:

    I’ve been too sick to participate in any of this recent drama, but:

    I will forever feel like an outsider, and that somebody, somewhere is laughing at me and making fun of me. It’s stupid, it’s silly, it’s not very Christian – but it is what it is.

    So, I’m the annoying guy that tries a little too hard to fit in.

    You’ll always fit in with me. 🙂

  2. Susie Says:

    Well, seeing as you are my musical hero and favorite person to harmonize with, you need to realize what an awesome person you are!!!

  3. john h Says:

    Slarti – don’t apologize. Don’t explain. Just post. You’re fine.

  4. newscoma Says:

    What John said.
    And much love from me.

  5. Warrior Says:

    Knowledge is something that comes and goes and changes with each generation (the earth was flat, then round, then oval…do you think when the polar caps melt, it will be square?). But wisdom comes from God, and that, my friend, you have been abundantly blessed with!

  6. x117236 Says:

    For what it’s worth, knowing you both professionally and personally, I’ve never thought that. But I think our backgrounds are somewhat similar. And I’ve never heard anyone else say anything either.

    Well, except that you have some wild shirts. ; )

  7. Lindsey Says:

    Slarti, get out of my head!

    I go through cycles of self-loathing and low self-esteem a LOT. A lot more than my rational self would like to admit. I don’t know how you ever shake that. I don’t know how you ever find what’s at the root of that constant drumbeat of anxiety over what others think of you. I flip back and forth between “Oh my god, I hope these people don’t think I’m a tool” to “Screw them; I’ll be who I want to be” at an alarming rate.

    If you get it figured out, give me a shout, would you?

  8. Kathy T. Says:

    OMG we’re just alike. Sigh.


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