Exactly like me

Even the most beautiful mask is no match for a real face. Venice, June 2008

Even the most beautiful mask is no match for a real face. Venice, June 2008

“Nobody can be exactly like me.  Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.”
― Tallulah Bankhead

Some of us are more reserved than others, but almost all of us don a figurative mask occasionally, or maybe even often.  We feel vulnerable and a bit intimidated about being ourselves, since we harbor a vast inner archive of our shortcomings, past mistakes and embarrassing experiences.  If we aren’t careful, we can let our insecurities rob the world of the gifts only we can give it.

When I think of the people who most appeal to me, whether they are friends I know personally, writers I know only through their works, or celebrities I will never meet, the common trait among them is their willingness to be themselves, honest about their own hopes, fears and failures.  Those who mask their unique personalities tend to blend into the background, inoffensive but forgettable.

For many years, Fred Rogers closed each of his programs for children with these simple but profound words: “There’s only one person in the world exactly like you.” Considering how many people are in the world, isn’t it amazing– almost miraculous — that each of us is unique?  That fact alone makes the world a very interesting place!  And you are part of that big fascinating picture.

What can you give others today that can come ONLY from you?

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.

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