Embracing Vulnerability

Brandon Morton had done something very few football players had ever done. He was a defensive lineman and made the Second Team All-American as a sophomore. Then he made First Team as a junior. Entering his senior year, he was considered a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy. Defensive players rarely were considered for the Heisman, especially those on the defensive front line where players received little recognition.

Throughout college, Brandon had never participated in a press event. He turned down many opportunities for NIL (Name Image Likeness) money. When he wasn’t involved in football practice or conditioning he disappeared.

Brandon was an extreme introvert who avoided public settings. For him, football became a way for him to embrace his vulnerability. His introversion may have contributed to his greatness because he was able to block out all of the distractions that normally come with being a star athlete.

Brandon had a side that very few knew about. He was a volunteer at a children’s hospital. The hospital publicist desperately wanted pictures of Brandon cuddling a child, but the administrator absolutely refused. Brandon’s ability to support children was priceless.

Brandon’s introversion made him a natural in connecting with children who struggled with more outgoing volunteers. Children allowed Brandon to embrace his vulnerability.

As the season progressed, Brandon started receiving more consideration for his Heisman candidacy. But he refused to join in the hype and would not participate in any efforts to promote his chances. Actually his story of letting his play speak for itself was an advantage because it was refreshing in the time of over-hyped award campaigns.

All of us have vulnerabilities. What matters is how we embrace them. We need to accept who we are and what we can do to embrace out vulnerabilities. Like Brandon, we need to find ways to contribute. Over time we may find a way to alleviate our vulnerabilities, but just knowing what we experienced in embracing our vulnerability makes us more empathetic. We also become creative in the way we approach life in that we develop coping skills that often lead to new ways of resolving challenges. Just admitting we have vulnerabilities makes us more human.


*   *   *

“Embrace your vulnerability and celebrate your flaws; it will let you appreciate the world around you and make you more compassionate.” – Masaba Gupta (Actress and Fashion Designer)


How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.