20 May, 2009

Humility.

Word of today: HUMILITY

 

 

It’s one of the hardest lessons we learn in life. Some people avoid it like the plague, fearing it will lead to submission or being overpowered by someone else. We praise leaders for it, we don’t like people who are pompous, and yet, when most people think of “getting ahead” they don’t include humility into their plans.

 

 

Love is humility. And whether you are a friend, sibling, spouse or parent – in order to have a good relationship humility will have to enter in.

 

 

 

I learned to be humble today when I got on my soapbox at work about people leaving bad food in the refrigerator. I threw out some old fruit, purged some unnecessary bags, emptied some Tupperware – all the while raving about personal responsibility and “I’m not your mother!”

 

About an hour later my friend came to me and said someone in our finance department was looking for their lunch. What I thought was an old chicken salad turned out to be a fresh fish one. So I swallowed my pride, felt stupid, apologized, and bought her lunch downstairs. Instead of the very nice fish, avocado salad she had brought she got gross Chinese food. Funny how my rational for the food purge seemed a bit stupid when I was looking at someone I had unintentionally hurt.

 

Later we were discussing salvation and someone came in. They mentioned they don’t believe in hell. I was washing my plate to put it in the dishwasher and suddenly “couldn’t take it.” I turned and asked, “but what about the people who don’t accept Christ?” She answered something about feeling guilty on earth and I answered, “But people like Pol Pot didn’t feel remorse, and those jerks who purchase little six year olds for sex never feel sorry. There has to be a hell because there is a heaven. And if there isn’t a hell and we all get to heaven anyway, then why believe? It makes salvation unnecessary if there’s no hell. And we can’t discard what makes us uncomfortable, we have to accept both.”

 

We went back and forth for a moment more before she started talking about the beauty of things in the world and I quietly made my exit. Later she came and apologized, saying she didn’t mean to upset me. I, again, realized that when I debate I can come off like a snobbish prick and closed minded. Of which I am neither, though, in some things, I tend to be very black and white. I apologized and said I need to learn how to engage in discourse without sounding defensive and putting people off.

 

It’s not about being right. It’s not about venting my frustration. It’s not about completing the task and forgetting the person involved. It’s not. And when I get in a place of me, me, me – every task or interaction or moment becomes about my end goal – self-satisfaction. I throw things away because my perception of people is that they’re lazy and I’m tired of cleaning up. Or I belittle a friend because I feel my view is correct above all else and she just needs to realize that.

 

 

I want to just sit here. I am not going to do anything that might affect another person! While that might be the kneejerk reaction to never “help” or speak up or (fill in the blank) again, that’s not the right response.

 

 

Every action should be done with love and service (= humility). I should clean the refrigerator not out of frustration but love. I need to engage with my friend on a level of understanding and conversation, not persuasion and condemnation.

 

 

It’s not about me… It’s not about me… It’s not about me…

 

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© Amanda Lunday