“Listen to me,” said the counselor, “your ideas are as good as anyone else’s.”
The young man shifted his weight and looked down at the floor.
“I guess so.”
“What do you mean, you guess so? It’s true. You need to stop comparing yourself to others. That way only results in feelings of inferiority.”
“But, maybe I am inferior. My ideas sound so vague, so simple. If you read what everyone else writes, it’s all so subtle, so well thought out.”
Silence. The ticking of the big mantle clock seemed to fill every moment with anxiety. The counselor let out a long sigh, tapped his pencil on his pad, and looked directly at his young client.
“First of all, you’re comparing yourself with published authors, people who have had time to elaborate on their ideas, and anticipate objections.”
The young man looked dubious. “But you don’t know my work. You don’t know if my ideas are good or not.”
“That’s not the important point here. What’s important is that you are a unique person, and no one else has your viewpoint. If that’s not worth sharing with the world, I don’t know what is. Look inside your own heart for answers, not in some books written by people who will never know you, the real you.”
The young man looked up.
“Really? You really think my ideas are as good as anyone else’s?”
“Absolutely. You’re unique, you’re you. Don’t let others control your self respect. If your so-called friends constantly criticize your work, you need to find better friends. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, not drag you down.”
The young man stood up, took a deep breath, and extended his hand.
“All right, then! I’ll do as you say.”
“I’m so glad we could have this talk,” said the counselor, giving him a sidelong glance. “Keep your chin up. I look forward to hearing good things of you in the future.”
They shook hands, and, with a bounce in his step that was utterly lacking before the meeting, young Adolph strode out into the sunlight.