Let’s take a moment to recognize the unassuming people
A toast to the people who won’t ever write articles titled “How I Became Successful,” “How I Became Kind,” or “Why I’m Humble and Why It Matters.”
Imagine this scene with me: you’ve just sat down to a reclaimed wood table in a coffee shop. You’re quite early in meeting your friend, so you decide to order a drink before he arrives. While you’re waiting for the barista to deliver the mug to your table, (“For here?” Yes, thanks. “Feel free to take a seat. I’ll bring it over.”) you do a quick scan of the room and check of the time.
Using your few extra minutes, you snap photos with the intent of a great filter and a decent amount of likes on Instagram. That americano is practically begging to be shared anyways.
But there’s plenty not pictured in your rustic photo of a steaming cup: the nuance of conversation, the suppression of laughter from a recent memory, your friend’s anxiety over his new job, the rhythmic guitar playing from the speakers near the ceiling, the wobbly table you had to put a coffee sleeve under to balance properly, the surprise of seeing an old high school classmate walk in, the excitement of trying a new recipe for dinner that night, your friend’s tired eyes from the early morning.
Just as these tiny moments can’t be bound to a single photo, there are people who aren’t pictured that deserve a bit of the spotlight. They’re not the glory-seekers and not the biggest fans of spotlights, but they make us better.
Here’s to the people who don’t share their thoughts on the internet, but still have strong convictions.
To the people who spend less than they make.
To the person who listens to her mom’s story for the third time without rolling her eyes.
To the people who purposely leave their phones behind to have real, undistracted conversations.
To the people who do incredible things (travel, fight poverty) and don’t casually drop in conversation to get admiration.
To the person who works tirelessly and doesn’t drop the “I’m tired” line.
To the person who finishes an incredible workout and doesn’t Snapchat himself afterwards.
To the person who ran three marathons and doesn’t put a ‘26.2’ sticker on her car.
To the person who doesn’t join in the prevalent work-complain conversations.
To the person who doesn’t say “I wish I could have…”
To the parent who cooks dinner for the family day in, day out.
To the people who relentlessly pursue their craft, especially when no one is giving them a constant pat on the back.
To the musicians who spend hours, days, in the practice room.
To the artists who feel their work isn’t purposeful.
To the good athletes who practice just as hard, but never get in the game.
To the people who encourage others despite their own difficulties.
To the people who surround themselves with wise mentors instead of working in isolation, reading “How To Be Successful” articles.
To the people who know success isn’t all money.
To the people who feel uncomfortable being recognized because they know anyone can work hard.
To the people who work at mending relationships instead of running from conflict.
To the people who hit a wall, get frustrated, nearly give up, but keep going.
To the people who hold the door for the person that’s too awkwardly far away.
To the people who consciously reject laziness.
To the people with below-average Instagram feeds, because it doesn’t mean they have a below-average life.
To the people who read books instead of watching Netflix (even though binge watching a show would be way easier).
To the people who understand well-timed rest adds clarity to work and vice versa.
Here’s to you. Please keep doing what you do. It helps the rest of us look up from our phones, wonder what’s different about you and shows us how to live a little. Somehow, you’ve figured out the strength in being unassuming.