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Humility: What Pain Taught Me

Updated on August 24, 2015


Reflection | Source


What is the cost to learn humility?

Is it simply surrender of our pride?

That we are protecting fiercely

Trying so hard not to hide?

Each of us knows way down deep

We are too often not what we appear,

But wait, we are changing are we not?

Each moment of each day

Each month of every year.

For when we think we know what's best

Or our opinion reigns over ALL.

Humility through God's faithfulness

Provides an opportunity to fail and then to fall

If it happens to me suddenly,

My how often I do fret

The blessing is just around the corner

Though I haven't seen it yet

For we comfort another's pain

Holy Spirit power we do get.

So I welcome you, Humility,

Endless gifts to learn, receive and give.

In the light of God's never endless Grace,

Humility's partner, I want to live.

Seems I am simply unable to arrive there on my own

For in my human nature feel entitled to a throne.

So each me vital lessons that I may learn what's true

Self-centeredness is pitiful; I want to care about you.

God I know you know, I need help to bend my knees,

So break my heart with what breaks yours won't you please?

Putting Aside Pride

When I was young, I was a proud woman. I was the atypical over-achiever, there were not enough hours in the day for all my aspirations to be accomplished. Time after time, I reached the top of the mountain, only to fall back down and start all over again.

Status didn't do it, I reached some higher layers of a sales organization. I won the car, won the prizes, won recognition, and was convinced I had made a name for myself. There was always someone who went beyond my accomplishments. I turned in the car, turned in all my products, and was assured that I would never again be part of that organization.

I went to Africa, in search of a mission, and found myself loving the absolute adventure of it. Although we had planned well (we thought), everything went wrong. Our luggage didn't arrive, we weren't allowed into the country at first because of that fact, but I had this strange sense that it didn't matter, all would be well. I was right. The trip changed me, my focus, and my entire life.

When I returned, illusion set in, and there were many tough acts to follow, everywhere I went. Against my better judgement, I began an attempt to climb to the top of the corporate ladder. I found someone who would teach me the construction business and rose steadily to building management. I had a fancy, top of the tower office with my name on it, to prove that I had arrived.

Just as I reached the crest of the wave, I was shocked to learn that the person I was following was not only having an affair with the boss's wife, he wasn't even a legal citizen and was deported back to Australia. That dream went down in flames. My association with this man cost me the trust of other managers, who made it difficult every step of the way. I fought the battle, and triumphed, but it left me empty inside.

Then I started all over again. I went into Real Estate, this time a servant as an administrative assistant. I laugh today, because I really didn't type all that well, but I didn't make alot of errors, so I appeared faster than some of the others. I knew I had the aptitude to learn anything they could teach me, and I asserted that in the interview. They decided that I might be right, and hired me.

When a new division started, I was put on the team. Having proved my ability to adapt to changing environments and needs, I was selected to be a "Hub" GIS systems trainer. I was challenged, trained, and tested to the hilt. I loved it, and was determined to master it, and I did. It was the learning curve that motivated me, and I met the demands. I excelled, and I was recognized by my peers, management, the retail, commercial, and Industrial divisions in 88 branches.

A funny thing happened one day. I got a call from someone who asked me if I would like to volunteer. I thought about it for a minute, and then said yes. I probably should have asked, but I just didn't. On Saturday of that week, I found myself stepping through the doors of a county jail, for the purpose of training for counseling and working with detainees.

It was through this experience that humility visited me. I found out that I didn't know as much about the difficulties of life that I thought I did. I found out that in fact, I knew little at all. My pride was exposed and confronted without words. I found that I had unwarranted prejudices that I had to surrender to do this work. That is the foundation upon which I wrote this poem below.

When I returned home I found myself weeping. For the prisoners, for myself, for all the years I had been so self-focused, so self-centered, and too proud. I thought about all the people that I had ignored over the years, and even mocked for not being able to manage their lives. Humble pie, that's what I ate for the next few weeks until I was able to speak and acknowledge the damage my pride had done to others. In reality I had done the most damage to myself. Now I was face to face with the essence of who I was, and I felt a strange peace in the revelation.


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    • SimpleGiftsofLove profile image

      SimpleGiftsofLove 6 years ago from Colorado

      Sparkles, what a joy to hear from you! We had that book in the prison library and it was checked out most of the time! Thanks for reading and for your gracious comments....glad you stopped by

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      SimpleGiftsOfLove: You are SO RIGHT: Self-centeredness is pitiful. My sister says to me all the time, "Every day God flattens me like a pancake, He keeps me on a very short leash." Your hub is a great testimony and I know it will inspire all who read it. You write from your heart. An old friend of mine always said to me, "we all climb fool's hill." Believe me, I have been humbled all my life. Voted up, useful and interesting. Yes, humility changes us. My best friend's daughter is now in Africa with her church group. I have never talked to anyone who has been to Africa who has not said it changed them and they want to go back. RE: Your volunteering, you would love the book "Chicken Soup For The Prisoner's Soul." It had an enormous impact on me. Blessings, Sparklea :) THANK YOU for a great Hub.

    • sunkentreasure profile image



      Be a friend to the lonely

      Be kind with your words

      Be faithful in your dealings

      Be true in your love

      Be brave in misfortune

      Be humble in self-esteem

      Be generous to the needy

      Be gentle to those hurt

      Be alert for opportunity

      Be determined to succeed

      Be helpful to humanity

      Be useful with your life.

      © Bernard Levine

    • SimpleGiftsofLove profile image

      SimpleGiftsofLove 6 years ago from Colorado

      Thank you MsDora, and Husky1970, your comments are thoughtful and appreciated. It is people like you who make this world so special!

    • profile image

      Husky1970 6 years ago

      Well written and very meaningful. Nice hub, SimpleGiftsofLove. Humility is a wonderful attribute.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 6 years ago from The Caribbean

      I think that by expressing your need of help, you're on your way to finding it. Humility is certainly a desirable quality.