What attribute of your personality are you most proud of, and how has it impacted your life so far? This could be your creativity, effective leadership, sense of humor, integrity, or anything else you'd like to tell us about. (*) (200-250 words)
I would be lying if I categorized myself as naturally hard working: I probably work the hardest at procrastinating. I'm not charismatic and certainly not witty. With these things considered I'm a lazy, awkward, unfunny guy. However, at the cost of my own dignity, I have perfected one branch of humor: self-deprecation.
From a young age, it seemed that everyone had come up with a nickname for me. My sisters called me "Markisa", my relatives "Markovka" (meaning carrot), and my friends "Marky Mark". Being a runt did not help my case. From first to ninth grade I was approximately three feet tall and constantly reminded of it. Even after creeping up to a somewhat normal height, I remained the butt of every joke. But eventually I came to accept and cherish my role in social circles.
The great advantage of humor at the expense of self is that it alienates nobody, with the notable exception of one's own ego. And whether it be funky dancing to Christmas music at a family reunion or confused babbling in reply to a simple question, it never fails to draw a few laughs.
Like the town fool of olden times, I give people someone to laugh at. And I don't mind. What's a light-hearted joke when it comes from a friend? A joke, and nothing more.