As Kermit the Frog said, ďItís not easy being green.Ē Most of us wish we were a little different. For years, I thought there was something wrong with me, that I had a problem I needed to overcome, but I just couldnít Ö Iím too neat. Iím tidy. I like orderliness.
Itís always been this way. I canít help it. I see patterns and designs in the world and Iím just trying to make things fit. Look in my wallet: all the bills are face up in order of rank. Ones on top, then fives, then tens, then twenties. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton (so handsome!) and Andrew Jackson. (Banks do it the same way, fyi.) Towels always need to be folded in thirds, then in half lengthwise. Same with shirts. No exposed edges. Why? I have no idea. Toilet paper goes on the holder facing out, not toward the wall. Ice trays need to be filled to a certain level, and then when theyíre frozen, they need to be cracked very gently so that all the cubes remain intact and donít shatter into tiny pieces. Drawers, doors and gates need to be closed. If I donít make the bed in the morning (an infrequent event), I have to make it at night before I get in it.
In todayís psychobabble Iím a little OCD Ė obsessive-compulsive disorder. But thatís the issue. Itís not a disorder, at least not in my case. More like a quirk. For example, I do believe symmetry is overrated.
My friends have made fun of me for years. They just donít get it. Having things in order is soothing. It calms me the same way other people like having their clothes all over the floor, God knows why. For some reason our society, or at least my generation, has always celebrated the Oscars of the world, but not the Felixes. They made me feel bad, like I should overcome my anal-retentive tendencies. But you know what? Iím not going to do that. I like who I am, and Iím going to stay that way. Hereís to you, Felix Unger!
The point is, you need to embrace who you are.
Organizations and institutions are the same way. Around here, weíre always bemoaning the fact that there arenít a lot of young people living in Kenwood or Glen Ellen any more, (and no wonder, because who can afford it?) Consequently our schools, fire departments, clubs, churches all feel like they need to attract younger people to survive. But to do that, they first need to accept and celebrate who they are. Identify your strengths, celebrate them, and then look ahead. Confidence is sexy, in people and in organizations.
We get a lot of visitors to our beautiful valley. Too bad we canít require them to participate in one or two community events as part of their rental agreement. They could go out on a fire call, attend a Rotary meeting, go to Lights, Camera, Auction, and then get up on Sunday morning and go to church!
Maybe that would convince some of them to stay. Sure, theyíll have to buy one house for the price of two, but itíll be worth it. Because we are who we are, and theyíll know exactly what theyíre getting into.