Suh, Dude!

College life. This includes college meals. Which include eating with interesting people in the dining commons. One such person was sitting with me for breakfast last week. From across the table a fellow freshman explained to me, “‘Suh, dude!’ That’s what I say to everyone all the time–except in the morning. I’ve discovered ‘Suh, dude!’ in the morning scares people, so I just say ‘Good Morning!’. Really loud.”

Everybody has unique personality. Some people wear it on the inside, some people wear it on the outside. This fellow freshman, who offers this greeting to, honestly, just about everyone in sight, definitely wears it on the outside.

Sometimes we are attracted to people who wear their unique personalities in obvious ways, but, just as often, I would argue, we are turned off by such behavior. Certain people just get on our nerves and we begin to hate their unique personality and everything about the way they express it.

What I have discovered, however, is that it is possible to have a sincere appreciation for the uniqueness of a personality, even without necessarily appreciating every aspect of the way it is exhibited.

I’m not exactly a “Suh, dude” person, but I have come to smile at this demonstration of the outgoing nature of this freshman. I am grateful that we humans are not all the same–and sometimes I am thankful that I don’t have to be the person bearing the weight of having the “Suh, dude!” personality. If I view this character as a unique piece of the puzzle of the world and as an artful expression of the complexity of human beings, I can not only remain untroubled by his disposition, but I can truly admire it.

I have a feeling this is something we could all work on when someone is getting on our nerves. Imagine your immediate community as an exhibit in a museum and try to asses the expressive person as a unique piece of art–far beyond your understanding, but placed within your museum nonetheless.

Have you ever appreciated someone with significant differences? Has being non-judgmental ever changed your opinion of someone? I’d love to hear your stories. Each of these can be inspiring as well as encouraging!

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