We grew up learning to cheer on the underdog because we see ourselves in them.-Shane Koyczan
Growing up, I’ve always felt like I needed to be something, I needed to look a certain way, read certain books, watch certain movies, speak in a certain manner in order to be accepted. Even when I look back, I don’t think it was ever something that was just in my head. For I never felt like I could be in group of people and have something to contribute to the conversation. Not that I had any interests or perhaps even interesting stuff to talk about, but my interesting stuff never fit into any category of what the world wanted to talk about. All my life, I’ve only had a few opportunities in my life to have a place for my existence as a whole. Other than that, if I had to show up, I had to corrupt it in a certain manner. If I wouldn’t, I would feel like an uncomfortable guest in my own body.
Even now, my existence rarely is offered a place. For the longest time, I’ve felt like there was something wrong with me. However, now it just feels too odd to blame myself for it. I mean I’m just a human, like everybody else. Perhaps it’s too blunt for me to say but I think whether there are 5 people in the room, or 50, no person should ever feel like they need to borrow a different existence or feel like a guest in their own body. If there are 50 kids in a class, the one sitting on the last seat should have as much right and opportunity to speak as the one on the front does. Up until now, I’ve always felt like acceptance, appreciation and compassion were some sort of privilege that only a certain group of people deserved and I didn’t. And it’s such a shame, such a sad realization that I believed that. Now it scares me to the point that I fear everytime I come back home from being around people. I’m afraid if someone felt like an outcast there and if I wasn’t able to do anything about it. Because, at the end of the day, no matter what, everyone needs to be seen and accepted. Everyone deserves a look of compassion. Everyone deserves to be asked how they are and everyone deserves to be looked in the eye and be asked to take care of themselves. Love and compassion aren’t a privilege. It’s something we all as human deserve. So don’t force people around you to believe that their existence isn’t worthy of being seen. Love doesn’t cost a thing, if you don’t show it, it may cause someone to believe they should pay a heavy price for it.