There is always someone bigger or better so I believe it is wise to be humble. I have often sat by my picture window in the mornings, sipping tea and watching the children line up for the bus stop. I watched the biggest boy push his way to the front. He’d knock backpacks from the other children, tease the little ones and generally be a bully. I clearly recall the spring morning, however, that a new and bigger boy came to the neighborhood. He eyed the others at the bus stop, and then took his position at the front of the line. Being the biggest is so fleeting.
As a young mother with little money and less time to shop, I hesitated going to a football game with a fashionable friend. I scrambled to find things to wear. Sitting on the bleachers at the game, I glanced at her painted perfect clothes. I uncomfortable felt her eyes, under feathery false lashes and several layers of shadow, travel from my head to my shoes. She seemed to be searching for some complimentary item. Finally, she set her glare at my feet. “Nice socks.” Humility is often forced upon us.
Don’t get me wrong. I love to be the best. When after three failures and a trashed kitchen, I won a blue ribbon on my German chocolate cake, I felt grand. Sadly my pride was lessened within minutes when my cake turned to crumbs and it was revealed that several others entering the contest received blue ribbons, too. It is impossible to always remain the best.
Life gets complicated when climbing to the top and is filled with constant pressure. It’s like my husband’s golf. He is hopelessly getting the best driver, crafted out of the latest marvel metal and molded to drive that tiny, white ball twenty yards longer and straighter. He is a happy golfer for several weeks – until someone shows him the newest, bigger driver that will give him that “hole-in-one” off every tee. Then he comes to me with his plea, “If I only had…then I could…”
The bigger and better you are, the more paranoid you become about just who it is that is going to force you to nose-dive to the bottom. I had a neighbor who wanted my driveway. I naturally declined. Staring me eye to eye, he demanded, “Don’t mess with me, I’m rich and powerful!” He was correct. I shouldn’t have confronted him and yes, he did get my road, but I’m okay with that because I heard some time ago that he is in another state and has a new neighbor, Ted Turner.
I still sit by my window and watch the children, but I know that the child who gets on the bus first today may likely not be the same tomorrow. It is wise to accept that fact and to be, at least, a little bit humble.
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