Feeling like we don’t measure up; it’s a universal experience. More people than we realize believe in some way they are not good enough; not smart enough, rich enough, thin enough, attractive enough, the wrong gender, the wrong sexual orientation, or the wrong color. Who defines good enough? What is the measure for unacceptable versus acceptable? No one knows, but we are acutely aware we are not good enough.
For as long as I can remember, I believed I didn’t measure up. To a lesser degree, I still do. At what point do we internalize the message we are not good enough? When we become cognitively aware, or do we pick up subliminal messages from others before awareness sets in? Likely, it is a little of both.
As an overweight child, I was the focal point of my cousins’ cruel jokes during family get-togethers. Their cruelty laid the foundation for further ridicule throughout my school years. During my sophomore year of high school, I lost a considerable amount of weight and suddenly become acceptable, which confused and angered me because I didn’t understand the shift. Apart from outward appearance, I hadn’t changed, and yet I was perceived differently.
Acceptance and rejection are measured by cultural and societal norms, religious dogma, and personal beliefs. Acceptance and rejection are communicated loudly and clearly, and most often predicated on the outward appearance, having little to do with behavior toward others. Case in point; aren’t we more likely to render an innocent verdict against a person accused of a crime if we perceive that person as attractive?
We pay lip service to the importance of diversity, yet deeming some acceptable and rejecting others indicates we prefer a homogenous world. If we truly believed in diversity, there would be no need for a black lives matter movement, gender, and sexual orientation wouldn’t matter, and people of all sizes and shapes would feel accepted and valued regardless of outward appearance.
Creation, mankind, are extensions of Divine Love. We are all the same where it counts, on the inside. Behavior would be the standard by which we measured others, not outward appearance, nor material possessions. The real measure of mankind are things like kindness, love, patience, forgiveness, and mercy are real measuring sticks.
If we truly embraced diversity, equality would mean equal, and each person would be measured by their treatment of others…..