Fitting In

Apr 15, 2019 by Renee Linnell
So, I ran into the tallest human I have ever seen in my life, just a week ago in the Denver airport. I mean, he had to be seven feet, five inches or more. The man next to him looked about six feet tall and this guy towered over him. I made myself not stare. I wanted so badly to ask him how tall he was, but I figured everyone did that so I resisted. I just walked on by and hurried to my plane.
 
And I forgot about him. Until I landed in Durham and had dinner with my friends who love basketball. Suddenly, I remembered the tall guy. And I realized then that I wished I had asked him how tall he was. I wanted to know. I was sure he was at least 7.5 feet tall. Which I had never even heard of. (I don’t watch TV.)
 
So, I brought him up. And I described him: he was African American, looked young, was thin with very dark skin, and looked very ethnic. “Tacko?” my friend said. “I think he may have been Tacko.” So I googled him. Sure enough, I had seen Tacko Fall. And Google said he was seven feet six inches tall. I had been right! I am never right about things like this.
 
I was amazed by him. I started searching through images. “He seemed amused,” I told my friends. “And a bit like he was hiding, or trying to hide. He was walking against the wall and was actually trying to be as inconspicuous as possible . . .”

I thought about him more that night. Mostly this: imagine incarnating in a body that is so tall that you simply cannot blend in. Ever. Anywhere you go. Ever. Imagine what that would feel like.  (I believe we choose our bodies so that we can do the work our soul needs to do when we are on earth.) Imagine picking his body. Every place he goes he stands out. Every place he goes people know who he is or want to know who he is. Every place he goes he is the “freak of nature.” It’s amazing. I cannot imagine what that would feel like. No chance to be anonymous, ever.

I just got done reading Michelle Obama’s book Becoming and there is a part in it where she discovers skiing and realizes she can be disguised in a helmet and goggles and be completely anonymous. (Completely anonymous and flying down a ski slope). Tacko would not be anonymous even then.
 
I think it’s so brave. I think it’s amazing. I think it’s amazing to come onto this planet and declared, simply by the body he picked, that he refuses to blend in. And I get goose bumps imaging how life would be if we all did that.

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”– Dr. Seuss