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Monday, August 16, 2010

Bragging About Being Humble Again?

Continuing yesterday's idea about rededicating to principles that we have decided to live by. The reason I thought about rededicating myself is that I disappointed myself in my interaction with somebody. When the conversation was over I wanted to take back one or two things I had said, and wished I had said something else. They not only weren't terribly generous. I realized I said things that made me look good. I hate that. I hate it when I say things that obviously make me look good. Why do I do that? I'll probably still be trying to prove myself when I'm 90.

So instead of continuing to beat myself up, I hung out with the idea that well, at least I caught myself "after the fact." Maybe next time I'll catch myself "in the act" of trying to look good and pull back. Wouldn't it be nice if I were more humble and compassionate. But then, even if I achieve more humility, I'll probably have to let somebody know about it. Sometimes I really could just kick myself. It is really hard to be a good human being. There just isn't any way to do it all right. There's always something more to learn. Oh, well.

Speaking of the phrase "Oh, well" reminds me of something that happened four of five years ago. I had the most interesting encounter with a perfect stranger on a hiking trail once. A man asked if he could take my picture. I said sure. And later on, down the path, while I was waiting for my husband ( he took the longer route and I turned back earlier) the same man happened by and he was waiting for his wife. We started talking and, you know me, sooner or later we got into a discussion about depression.

He said his wife had struggled with depression for years, medication didn't work. And finally, she stopped all her therapy and medication and every time depression started up, she said to herself, "So, what." (This happened several years ago and sometimes I forget if the phrase was "So what" or "Oh well," but it doesn't matter the idea is the same) The man couldn't understand that such a simple thing cured his wife's depression and he said he was always waiting "for the other shoe to drop" worrying it would come back. When I explained brainswitching to him he was very grateful. He said he had no idea why he took my picture (I was in my grubby hiking clothes and old black hat an nobody would ever mistake me for a model) but something told him to do it. And now he knew it was so he could show the picture to his wife and tell her about our conversation. Isn't that strange? Life surely is a mystery. A. B. Curtiss

1 comment:

Ginger said...

I have a person in my life who incessantly brags about her money. After hearing references to her discretionary income for the last 4 years, I am certain that she must have more money than God.

It never ceases to amaze me how she can bring financial status into nearly any conversation.

I am not wealthy. I am a person of comfortably modest means. She seems to delight in underscoring the discrepancy between our vastly different financial circumstances. I find that really obnoxious.

I bring this up to point out that I don't think you probably "brag" about your good qualitites in an effort to make others feel small, or to make yourself feel better than.

Isn't false humility just as obnoxious as "bragadosio" behavior? If you have good qualities, is it poor form to claim them, even in the company of others? As long as you don't intend to suggest that you are better than the other person for having such traits, I think owning your positive attributes could be inspiring to others.

Afterall, you're not suggesting that you are flawless by merely speaking of having some good qualities.

When I am around someone who is "faking" humility, I want to shake them and say, "You know, I really can handle it that you are good at something. That doesn't make me inferior. We're all good at something. I won't evaporate if you admit your strengths out loud."