Thanks to Rob Lowe for his story and the quote.
My daughters are all long gone from the household. The eldest left for college in the East Coast in 2000. The youngest left for college in 2008. I remember the last one really well. It was traumatic for my wife more than for me, but it was emotional for all of us.
A Father’s Wisdom
I was reminded of those emotions yesterday when I read a fantastic essay on a father’s first child leaving for college. The link to the memoir is below with the quote author. It is well worth reading. It was exquisitely written, full of memories and love, heartbreak and pride. The father thought the son was bearing it all very well until after a introductory session with all the students and parents. The son turned to the father, with wet eyes giving him away, and said, “None of the other kids look scared at all.” The father said what I think is some of the best advice anyone can ever get when you are overwhelmed with emotion, “Never compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.”
The Inside is Not Out
It’s so easy to look at the bright colors, big smiles, hearty laugh, nice clothes, high energy and perfect style that is on the outside and think that is a reflection of the inside. And yes, sometimes it is. But we humans are FILLED with emotions and feelings, fears and worries, that never make it to our outer surface. They are deep swimmers in the middle of the ocean. They don’t venture to the surface often, if at all, and thus are never seen by others.
But rest assured, they are there whether you see them or not. Don’t assume, don’t judge. Just be open to discovering who those people around you really are. You will find if you dive down just a bit, their deep swimmers might come up and be seen.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman
Quote and memoir by Rob Lowe, 1964 – not dead yet, American actor. Rob Lowe on sending his son to college.
Photo courtesy of Rob Lowe