Prestige is in the perspective

Published 10:54 am Sunday, May 28, 2023

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Almost everyone admires someone and has their group of folk whom they view as prestigious, important, and perhaps a super star. 

My icons include pastors like Clay Crum at First Baptist Church Luverne, who give themselves to serve their congregation and community. 

Lowndes County Sheriff Chris West is high up on my list too, as a law enforcement officer working to ensure safety in the 45 committees. 

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Charles Box is right up there too. As a Drug Court volunteer he works tirelessly to help those battling life-challenging circumstances. 

And, because those I label prestigious are such strong servant leaders, I’m fairly shocked when someone suggests pining that label on me. 

On a recent visit to my happy place, also known as Barnes and Nobles, a young woman helped me find that elusive “can’t put down” next read. 

She posed a few questions to gauge my preferred literature choice, and suggested a few of her own favorites.

The suggestions weren’t quite in my range and after more discussion I described my tastes and preferences, letting her know the topic wasn’t as important as the style. I was in search of a well written tale. Something like William Faulkner might have written if he were alive today. 

“I’m a journalist,” I said. “The only thing I can’t abide is a badly written novel.”

Her eyes became wide and her jaw went slack. 

“You’re a journalist,” she exclaimed. “Wow, that’s so cool.”

She seemed a little star struck and I blushed. 

“We are just everyday people,” I said. “Just doing what we love, telling other people’s stories.”

My new young friend was impressed to meet a real, live journalist. She thought that made me someone prestigious. 

As I stood there, in my t-shirt and blue jean shorts, I pondered on her perspective. Not feeling the least bit prestigious, I was humbled by her view of me and those in my professions. 

People are just people everywhere. The professional football player, the rock star, the novelist – they all went to school, became awkward teenagers, and maybe still harbor their own insecurities. 

I’m glad the book store attendant found me interesting, but I’m just an average person. 

Those I admire feel much the same way, but it’s good we should remind them how they make a difference in our lives and inspire us to be better than we are. 

Who do you admire? Be sure to take the time to tell them. You can not imagine how it will inspire and encourage them, just as the bookstore attendant’s comments did for me.