How best to approach a blog on being humble? We might begin with the standard dictionary definition: A) not proud or haughty. B) Reflecting, expressing or offered in a spirit of diffidence or submission. To my thinking neither of these definitions reflect the broader and true meaning.
To be Humble
For me the true definition of being humble is to be teachable. You might even say to be willing to learn. This is both a practical and a metaphysical approach to life.
One of the major issues through the years has been wanting to have things unfold in a manner that conforms to my idea of comfortable. Sure, you say, that’s understandable, but life is anything but predictable and rarely unfolds in ways that are comfortable. Yet there I would stand, insisting on my own way. Now that I am living a time in my life where happiness is more important than being right I see clearly the power of being humble; teachable.
All four of my published books include material about relationships. This has given me many opportunities to reflect upon my own experiences. Perhaps some of these insights mirror your own.
Early on all I had to go by was what I had been taught about relationships. If my teachings and those of the person with whom I was involved coincided, everything was great. However, when I came across someone with different ideas, problems arose. This applied both personally and professionally.
As I gained experience, I began to understand that I would have to accept other ways of doing things, or leave. Being headstrong I often left. How many wonderful experiences did I miss because I was unwilling to be humble?
And so it continues
A couple marriages and too many jobs to count, I still find myself in the same position. Earlier this year I completed my fifth book. I began the process of finding an agent to represent me to publishers, but to date, no takers. For several months now I have been working my way around to re-writing that book to be commercially viable. It has not been an easy process. I know the book is fantastic just the way it is! The best that has yet come off my computer. Every word is gold, every character well defined and essential. The problem is that 100,000 words is too long for most publishers to even consider. At this point I can be absolutely right or I can have a publisher.
Learning to be humble
As I mentioned earlier, I think of being humble is to be teachable. For instance, as my beautiful bride Terrie and I were doing dishes tonight I found myself frustrated at how she was doing her portion of our task. That’s when I was reminded that life is a series of lessons on being humble. Fortunately Terrie is very patient with me. I heard my lesson being repeated: do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy? Rather than insisting on my way, I allowed myself to be humble and go along with the program. In the end, neither of us was right nor wrong.
Passing on the understanding
When I think of my children I often ask myself; have you taught them all you could about being a good person. I showed them the joys of giving to others. I tried to demonstrate being involved with their community. We shared many hours learning together and achieving goals. The question that echos in my mind right now is; did I offer any lessons on being humble? On being teachable?
It’s never too late
As long as we draw breath we are both teaching and hopefully learning. Regardless of your age you can teach and at the same time be teachable.
I invite you to visit my website, BrianKGraham.com for other writings about becoming a better person for yourself and for others.