Monday, October 7, 2019

Weakness In Numbers

 Part 7 of 30
My Fragile Self-Esteem

The troubles we have are a tremendous weight. But if we start looking around, it can help. Being something of a shrimp myself, and having that affecting my self-esteem, there were a couple of choices how to face it. There was the obvious “Hang out with other shrimps” choice, since it’s true there’s power in numbers. And I guess I did take some comfort there. In a club of shrimps a few years back they voted me “Most Likely to Recede” a few times, just a thing we passed around because we didn’t want anyone feeling bad by not winning once in a while.

But after a while you realize it’s a big world -- like a classroom globe but larger -- and you’re only holding yourself back if you hang out with just shrimps to the neglect of the rest. You need to branch out beyond that one community. Maybe you go 50 miles from home. One time I was 200 miles from home and, God as my witness, I stayed there a few days. And the people! I bet I saw a hundred people, each one larger than the last! All these people, you find shrimps and big people kind of mesh together, no big deal.

Since then I've been on a lot more trips and have seen people in such magnificent numbers it boggles the mind. With signs reading, “Now Entering Africa,” “Now Entering Asia,” “Now Entering Des Moines,” “Now Entering Texas,” and so forth. It’d be fun to be a frequent traveler and have your picture taken by all these wondrous signs. And it's also good to see the signs at the outskirts of little towns, “Population: 565,” etc. None of these places specify if they’re big folks, important folks, flakes, shrimps, people of high self-esteem or of low...

It gives hope to all of us, although there’s a lot of people who’d have no appreciation of it, given that they already have hope. But for the rest of us, anything that moves us a step or two closer to feeling we’re all right with the world is a precious enhancing of what we started with. When my friend The Big Man lifted me up and showed me a world stretching well past the wooden fence, that was an eye opener. Then all my trips took place, where shrimps of all colors and nationalities and languages were revealed, along with big folks, tall, wide, each one beautiful in her or his own right, I about lost my lunch. “You mean to tell me?!” Yes, they did!

The only difference now is I’m again a little “under the weather” when it comes to self-esteem. The Big Man’s been away for a few years. He went to Wisconsin supposedly to get his car out of hock and I haven’t heard from him since. Wisconsin! What would it be like to go to Wisconsin? It must be great, since he went there and we haven’t heard from him OR his car this whole time.

I suppose he might've gone to Wisconsin to get away from me. That's probably what happened. Tired of shrimps, I bet he is.

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