I have to go to the dermatologist regularly these days, because when I was younger I thought it’d be a great idea to lay out in the sun and burn myself to a crisp. Yes, it was stupid to expose myself to lethal doses of radiation, but on the other hand, I had a really nifty tan there for a while.
The dermatologist’s office is always a very comfortable place for me — out in the waiting room, that is. In the waiting room, I’m surrounded with people who look just like me. Everyone there has all the bumps, moles, growths, and blotches that I do. It’s very comforting. They say that misery loves company, but I think ugly loves company, too.
On my last visit, I amused myself for a while with a game of, “Wow, that guy looks even worse than I do!” But then my attention was drawn to the wall where television screens blared non-stop commercials advertising skin treatments that promised to rejuvenate, refresh, and revitalize your skin!
As I watched this unending barrage of dermatological propaganda, I wondered: What kind of a chump would fall for this racket? How insecure do you have to be to shell out hundreds of dollars for a chemical peel, or a microdermabrasion or whatever voodoo witchcraft it is that they’re selling back there? I mean, I know I’m no Brad Pitt, but I’m pretty sure I’m never, ever going to need any of that!
But then they opened the waiting room door and called me back to the examination room. After I crossed that threshold, I walked into the land that time forgot. Everyone I saw looked like a game show model or an Entertainment Tonight host. I was the only one within sight that had a wrinkle or a freckle or, God forbid, an age spot. And, if I’m being totally honest here, I have to tell you as I was walking back to the examination room, I was starting to feel just a teensy-weensy bit Quasimodo-ish.
So I was led into the examination room and my doctor sashays in like a runway model. She’s tall and thin and her skin looks like she was born yesterday. I couldn’t help but wonder, so I had to ask her. I said, “I’m so sorry, but do you mind me asking… How old are you?” She told me she just turned 87.
At that exact moment I looked over at the wall and I saw one of those funny posters of a gargoyle sitting on an examination table and then I realized that I was looking at a mirror.
But then, out of nowhere, I had an epiphany. I thought, I bet one of those microdermabrasion things would fix all this! If they could just sandblast off the top two or three inches of my skin, I bet I’d look just as good as all of the rest of these supermodel people!”
But the really amazing part about this visit was how nice everyone was. Even though all the people on the other side of the doorway possessed superior knowledge (and let’s face it, beauty), they still made me feel welcome. They didn’t judge me or make me feel awkward.
It’s so easy to feel superior to others when we know more than them. But if we can remember to treat people well, they will feel comfortable around us and will come back. Our business will thrive and we will prosper. As an added bonus, we’ll get to go home every day knowing that we helped make someone else’s life better.
So, take it from an old raisin: stay out of the sun, and let your kindness shine on the folks who walk into your life.
© 2018 Charles Marshall. Charles Marshall is a nationally-known humorous motivational speaker and author. Visit his website at CharlesMarshallSpeaker.com or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.