today is father’s day. happy father’s day to all the incredible fathers in this world! i found myself thinking about my dad and one of the greatest lessons he taught me growing up. i don’t remember his lesson in words, although he speaks of it today; i remember the lesson by observation. he would set the example, and i learned.
to be humble. there are so many meanings to this word. i would watch the way people would compliment him and praise him for his designs, since he was a very talented architect. he would never accept the compliment…downplaying just how brilliant he was. and so i went about life never accepting a compliment thinking i was demonstrating humbleness. (now i know to say ‘thank you’ and see the compliment as a gift.) but i love this manner about my father. he smiles, give a little laugh, and shuffles his feet. i see him as humble.
to be humble. is also to accept that i am not so powerful that i should know more than you, or than god. when i accept that there is a creator greater than i, that it is not i who controls the world, i can release the thought of disappointment when things don’t work out as i had planned or wished.
to be humble is to understand that i am just a speck in this immense, glorious universe and to be grateful for all that tiny me is blessed, whether it be basking in the warmth of the sun’s rays, or digging in the cold of the dirty earth. my father loved spending time in nature and seeing himself as part of the whole. nature is humble.
to be humble is to always be in the state of learning. to know that i have something to learn from every person, every moment, every memory. when i am humble, my perspective about why i am here shifts to one of curiosity and connection. i remember my father walking and whistling, one of his favorite pastimes. this is where he would be connecting with that creative part of himself, that part of him where no words could be found to judge or criticize, that part of him that knew there was more to learn, to create and to imagine. my father would show me that it was better to listen than to talk.
to be humble is to have the attitude of relating to others and understanding that every person i meet is my teacher. what is it i can learn from them? whether it is focussing on a negative trait that i want to change in them, and seeing the reflection of that same defect in character in myself that i now can work to change in myself, or whether it is seeing someone’s gifts, and seeing their gift as an inspiration rather than something to envy. my father would befriend the janitor before his boss.
the heart relates, connects and does not compare. today i thank my father for his lesson to be humble.