I believe that eating humble pie is vitally important to me maintaining my grounding as a human being. Several months ago, I got a major dose of pie. Two heartbreaks, one professional, and the other personal, had put me on my guard and prompted what can only be described as a month-long fit of self-righteous indignation. I couldn’t see anything but my hurt, my desires, all the things I had done to make situations right and what everyone else had done to make the situations wrong. A dose of humble pie was in order.
That piece of pie didn’t come in some cataclysmic way, it came to me while I was staring at myself in the bathroom mirror, getting ready for work one day. I realized that I had refused to see that the professional and personal situations went south with a little help from me, as well. I realized that I wasn’t blameless, but I surely wasn’t being persecuted. I realized that humble pie covers a multitude of messes, and that I had a big steaming wedge with name on it.
The humble pie I recently ate wasn’t the first, and I know it won’t be my last. However, it just might be my most memorable piece of humble pie ever, because I was so aware of what was going on. I have this mental picture of the waitress of the universe just standing over me with a chipped truck-stop variety plate containing a big chunk, of humble pie, handing me a giant plastic spork, and a glass of skim milk. She’s standing over me, snapping her gum and smoking a 120, and yelling at me in the “Flo” voice from “Mel’s Diner”– “Eat the damn pie, sweetheart, ’cause we ain’t got all day, and someone else needs that booth.”
Being humble means being a realist– there are days when I just don’t get it–don’t get life, don’t get my family, don’t get my friends, don’t get my purpose in life, I just don’t get it, period. Being humble, to me, means being able to admit that, and live with the lessons life presents me to learn how to get it. It also means accepting that every other person in the world struggles with “getting it” just like I do. That admission , and the acceptance that goes along with it is some of the hardest work I will ever do. And I will do it again, and again, and again over the course of my life.
Yes, I believe in humble pie, because I believe that being humble is a virtue we can use more of in this world. Humble pie reminds me not to feel too guilty about the chances to which my pride has blinded me, but to stay focused on the chances that I can see, the love I can offer and accept, once I am willing to pick up my fork and eat.
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