I am 5'6", or about 166 cms tall. Or short. However you wanna call it.

As a kid, I was obviously called short all the time. Coz kids are stupid and mean, and well, that's how it is. Obviously, it used to bother me a lot. From searching on the internet for "how to grow taller" to being angry or lashing out, or coming up with mean retorts - I did them all and more.

Does size matter?
Photo by Charles Deluvio / Unsplash

A few years down the line, by the time college hit, I realised I had to make my peace with it. I was done growing and this was it. There's literally nothing I could do about it anymore. That really changed things about my approach and my mindset, and how I dealt with comments about being called short.

Given a situation, either there's something you can do about it or not. Whichever way that goes, either get to the action part of it or move along coz there's not much you can do.

I just let it stop bothering me (easier said than done. Took a looooong time). That's it. Yes, it would still be mean to hear those comments but (a) people were idiots and (b) it does not matter and (c) there's not much I can do about it. It made me more resilient. I realised that things bothered me only if I felt the same way about it.

Since I was not a Buddhist monk, this process was not smooth or easy. I came up with a list of things as to why it was advantageous to being short, to help me believe my own story. It slowly worked.

The other thing that really bothered me was being weak. The key difference, once I understood it, was I could do something about being weak. And I did, eventually.

Being called short 100s of times when I was young, while unpleasant and not the best way to learn resilience or the above lesson, still taught me something useful and important.

In a small way, it also helped me relate it to other mean things we humans do - discriminating by race or religion or colour or whatever. It definitely helped me become a more decent human being coz I realised none of that is okay, whether it is said in jest or not.

Photo by Tim Mossholder / Unsplash

Today, I see a bunch of my friends losing their hair. And it bothers them. It shouldn't. It is just fucking hair. It does not define you. Nor can you do much about it (unless you look at transplanting hair. Whatever for?!). Move on.

Whether you were called dark, or short, or bald or whatever. One, it is technically true. Two, if said as a slur, that's the best idiot filter you possess. Three, it does not matter - that does not define you.

Do something about stuff you can do something about. Maybe it is easy for me to say coz my dad has, always and continues to even today, a head full of hair (more than I do). But that's not why - it is because that particular attribute, like my height, is irrelevant to defining me.

I am short. It is an adjective, and not a slur. If someone's stupid enough to say it as a derogatory term (doesn't happen but never say never), they are stupid. Why let stupid people bother you? If it does bother you (or me), it is probably because we feel a part of it. The real fix is internal, like in most things.

I hope this makes sense.