There is a kid in one of my classes who is more confident with himself then anyone I have ever met. In fact, this confidence is more correctly identified as arrogance. Everyday I see him strut around the building, talking with a swagger that says, “Yes, I’m that fantastic.” And in all honesty I find myself intimidated by his confidence; yet, I also find myself learning. Seeing him absorbed in a cloud of self-glorification, I have discovered the power of self-view. And although I haven’t acquired his distorted sense of superiority, I have become more comfortable with myself.
While I do acquire much from observing the faults of others, I learn more from witnessing beauty in others.
Only last week I found myself sitting in the cafeteria, absorbed in meaningless conversation. Today socialization was focused on an upcoming “Sweet 16” bash, I know, incredibly exciting. Then I took a second to look out of the bubble that was my cafeteria table to see a kid with special needs sitting at a lunch table by himself, only a few tables away. But, the amazing thing is that he was smiling. Smiling! Once I got over the shock, I became enthralled by his courage, strength, and joy. He taught me the beauty of smiling. His happiness, even midst what most would consider time of embarrassment, forced upon me a new positive outlook on life.
Everyday we meet new people, and everyday we have a chance to learn something new. I can only hope my actions have in some way made someone else a better person.
I believe I have something to learn from everyone I meet.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.