Lately I seem to notice a lot of people who are insecure for various reasons, and this troubles me. In stark contrast, I am quite secure about myself. I am happily married, own my home, and enjoy generally good health and strength. My son is doing great, both academically and socially. Most everyone I know seems to like me. I have no reason to be afraid of anyone (within reason, of course; if someone approached me with a weapon, it might be different).

Self-image seems to be a major cause of insecurity about oneself. Last evening I heard some teens conversing about this; one young lady said she was “fat” because she had gained six pounds in a few days. Now I know that minor weight fluctuations occur in everybody, due to food and fluids. And this girl isn’t fat; she is very short but nicely built. She used to be anorexic, though, and I am somewhat concerned about her poor self-image at this point.

A boy who was staying overnight at our house, was heard to say that he had been doing 200 ab crunches per day in an effort to get rid of his pudgy belly. He had missed a day or two and was now very sore. Now I have known this fellow since he was in elementary school, and he was always a bit pudgy but not very fat. Why the sudden concern about his belly?

My son, who walks a lot and is in pretty fine shape, dropped the bomb on everyone by saying that he was fat! Later he explained that he has a tiny bit of “pudge” on his belly. My goodness, when I was that age, we didn’t worry about stuff like that. And there were less genuinely heavyset young people then, than there is today. But it seems that today there is more emphasis on fitness than there was years ago, and sometimes people who possess no cause for worry, do in fact fret about their figure—and yes, even guys.

Socioeconomic status is another thing that makes some folks insecure. Today when I was out for a walk, I met a lady who was pushing a baby in a stroller. I overtook her, and she noted that I was walking fast. I told her that I was just getting some exercise. She asked if I had heard everything she had said to her little one, and I replied no, that my mind was wandering and I wasn’t paying attention. As I started on my way again, she said to me, “You don’t have to run off; I’m not going to hurt you.”

I chuckled. Of course a lady pushing a stroller wasn’t going to hurt me! But I went back and chatted with her for a few moments. Just making conversation, I introduced myself by name, as Charlie. “Kharlie?” she said, pronouncing it with a hard K. I laughed again, said no, it’s Charlie, and then had to explain the “Kharlie” thing to her.

“Do you live around here?” I asked. “No, I don’t live anywhere,” she replied. She had been into drugs and alcohol and had been evicted from her home. Now she said no one would rent to her. She was currently living at a nearby homeless shelter but would only be there one more week. She was walking her little boy back to her dad’s house, where he was staying.

I reassured her that I was okay with all of this, and in fact, we had taken a young lady into our home, and she has a boyfriend who would be homeless also, had not a friend taken him in just yesterday.

Golly, I wish I could spread a little bit of “feel-good” to everyone I meet! But I know that’s impossible; I just hope that my inability to fix everyone else’s insecurity doesn’t result in my feeling insecure myself… Oh no, did I just say that?