OK, as we stuff ourselves to the gills, try our best to get along with “the relatives” and quickly tire of all of the racket that surrounds us, please allow me to tell you a story about how the world is learning humility, and how good it has been for us.
From my perspective, recent events like the Great Recession, Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and the recent Japanese tsunami, cause great fear, loss and the inescapable realization that we control very little in our lives. Nature has a way of doing that, so does worldwide financial panic.
Much like various other storms and calamities in our past, like say, the Dust Bowl (since it’s fresh on most of our minds if we watch PBS), catastrophe teaches us that certain circumstances can and will bring us to our knees. Believe me, I know the feeling!
What’s good about that? What’s good about acknowledging how much we do not control in our lives? It often leads to a new sense of humility, which means having a modest opinion or estimate of one’s own power and importance. Fresh modesty can serve us in many ways!
For me, humility taught me to stop judging others so harshly when they stumble or fall. It taught me compassion for myself when life does not turn out as planned, and even more so for those who will not be enjoying this holiday, because they have no family, no friends, no job, no money or poor health.
Humility also taught me to feel great gratitude for every day I am given which includes some semblance of health and bounty. I am still here, and therefore I still have the power to make life less difficult for others. That is my life plan now.
Life is a long lesson in humility. – James M. Barrie