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Being Humble to Grow

October 15, 2015

 

Being 39 years old, you would think I have learned a lot in life. I have learned more of what I do not know versus what I do know. I have eaten humble pie, trying to enjoy it, but sometimes through gritted teeth.

As I have gone through the last two years, eager to learn everything about tourism and hospitality, I have realized that many may have a desire to succeed in life, but few have the ability to be humble enough to learn. 

 

I have heard the saying that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Well, a person with that attitude may have never met the dogs I have met in my life.  Every old dog I have ever had the honor to be

around learns pretty quick what will benefit them and what will not, even more so when they are aging.

 

There are definitions out there that say being humble means you are of low importance, of low status.

The verb means to lower someone in dignity. With those definitions, of course it is difficult for someone to desire the ability to be humble. However, I know better than to listen to societal definitions, because those change depending on the mood of the people you

are around.

Webster's definition of Humble: not arrogant; not proud; the act of being unpretentious. 

 

James 4:16 (Amplified) But as it is, you boast [vainly] in your pretension and arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

 

This does not mean you cannot brag on yourself. God wants all of His children to know they have worth and confidence in who HE made you to be.

 

I have learned from my mother and her family the art of service. Knowing how to set a table and roast enough chicken for 100 people takes a confidence you grow into. Understanding that serving a meal on paper plates is unnecessary unless you are serving a small army. Cloth napkins are the best choice. And, yes, there is a difference in the way someone feels when you serve them in glass or plastic. It is important to always offer a guest something to encourage conversation. In my mother's home, it is coffee.

 

I have learned from my father the art of listening. Knowing how to listen to someone without thinking about what you want to say takes patience and clarity. Understanding that everyone struggles at some time, and knowing that it is not always about me and my thoughts or experiences. My father has taught me to stare at the eyes and lips of someone when they speak, keeping distraction away. It takes tenacity to hear the whole story all the way through. It takes a deep love for another to simply learn the art of listening.

 

While I enjoy talking, the people in my life who have struggled know that they can knock on my door, grab a drink, and confess their darkest secrets without judgment. They also know they can ask me anything without ever making them feel ignorant. It is my job, as a servant, to serve what my guest requests. Sometimes it is coffee. Sometimes it is my ears. Sometimes it is my words.

 

So, how does it all lead back to being humble to grow? If I never listened to my mother, I would have never realized how much I enjoyed the art of the service. True servitude is humbling, always putting another's feelings, safety, and security over your own worries and concerns about what others may think of you. If I would have never paid attention to my father, I would still be talking...about myself, my life, my goals. Hearing the words of others has reminded me to be strong, regardless of the moment. Focusing on the words of others has taught me my craft, my skill, and my ability. Feeling the words of others has prompted me to remember the truth of God's words.

 

I am good at what I do. I am confident in my abilities. I am not the best at everything. I am not the best at somethings. However, I will always ask for help. I will always seek council from those around me who have been there or have insight from the places they have been--even when it is a different place than I am headed. I put people around me who force me to be smarter, think longer, and speak softer. My friends, guests, and colleagues teach me every day. And, when you are really developed in character and integrity, your enemies will teach you just as much. If you want to succeed, you must be quiet, pay attention, ask questions, and take notes. THAT is the art of being humble to grow.

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