Normally I don’t advocate focusing on things you do not enjoy especially about yourself.  Lately though I have been learning through a lot of great people strength in looking at things from a totally opposite perspective.  This is one fine example. Like the title asks, what do you like least about yourself?  Why would we want to think about that you may ask.  Well, it was pointed out to me, that things we may like least about ourselves is something others may give the world for.  Think of the person that just seems to be unable to lose those last few pounds, with someone who’s life is compromised because they can’t store any body fat.  The example the person who shared this idea with me used was freckles.  She grew up disliking the fact that she had them.  Through the years listening to people tell her how much they love them, she has grown to as well. (side note, they do look amazing on her).  So as I often do, when a great bit of knowledge or a deep thought is presented to me I tend to share it with those around me.  Much like I am doing with you here.  There is a young man who comes in to the post office I work at.  He is a veteran of Iraq in his late twenties.  He mails small boxes from a veteran group he started after he returned.  I was sharing this story with him and he seemed quite riveted, which I must confess is unusual for people listening to a story I am telling.  Suddenly when I got to the heart of the story, about how the thing you love least about yourself somebody else would love to have, he started to tear up and get quite emotional.  I apologized and asked if I had said something to offend him.  The next course of events took me a bit by surprise and made me emotional as well.  He asked if I could come around the counter.  Well, considering the story I had told him was the reason he was so upset I thought it was the least I could do.  When I did come around he took me by surprise by instantly giving me a huge hug and crying on my shoulder.  He apologized as he composed himself and lifted up his pants leg to reveal a fake leg.  “Ever since I have returned from Iraq after having my leg blown off I have cursed the fact I only have one good leg.” he went on to explain while he was in the hospital both over there and back here he saw men younger than him who had lost both legs, an arm and a leg and other conditions.  “Those kids would kill to just have lost half a leg, but do you know what beats that?” he asked in a mix of laughter and tears. I kind of nodded as I was left speechless at the moment. “Do you know what I send in these boxes?” he asked.  “T-shirts to families that have lost someone over there.  The men that died would have given anything to trade places with me.  To be able to hug and talk to their families.  Here I was just being selfish, I should be grateful for all I have” he said. For hours after that man left all I could ponder was how wonderful we have it.  How each of us has so much more that we should be thankful for then we know and all we do is worry about what we like least.  I’m still not sure who got more out of that conversation, and quite honestly I do not care.  So tonight remember the things we like least about ourselves someone would love to have.  So be grateful, hug your family while you can and while you are at it, thank the brave men and women who keep us safe.  Thank you


  1. Neil, this is really a powerful story and I’m so happy you shared. Every day I meet amazing, strong, happy people who have such trials and pain in their lives I often am left speechless. What would I do if I were in their shoes? Would I have the strength to even get out of bed? And here they are laughing and joking sharing their mad passion for life. Every day I am grateful for the beautiful people who step into my life and generously, bravely share their stories.

    Thank you, to all of the veterans, their families and friends who have sacrificed so very much for our country. Every one of you are heroes.


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