Being Humble is a conundrum

Should I be humbled, yes or no?

I have begun my summer reading catch up.  Can I make the stack go down, or will I find more to add to it while I am out and about?  It is so exciting when an author strikes a chord and I talk back to her, “Yes, that’s it, that’s exactly what I think, feel, learned!”  My deep truths found in others writings and written in so many better ways than I can put them.  Sometimes I can’t put them in words at all.  It humbles me.

Being humbled then sent me into a tailspin of  dis-empowering  myself.  Why should I even try to write anything.  And if I do, why would I share it with others, it isn’t as good.  Why should I draw, take photographs, weave?  If I let myself continue tearing me down, soon I would reach a point where it was no longer worth doing anything.

Many women have been raised believing that anything higher than humble is on the “sin list” (when I was growing up, I think every thing known to man was on a “woman’s sin list”, and, OMG, it was unladylike!

Too much humbleness can lead to no drive.  How can you have lofty goals?  Being lofty was also a sin by the way.  How can you take pride in your work?  Yup, pride was not lady like either.  History continues to prove that most of what we think is new has been done before, so be humble and don’t assume that you can do better, or even as well, or waste the time doing it (that was a big sin too – wasting time).

As we crone, we try to get stronger about  not being defined as a door mat at work, at home, and out in the world.

As a pondered over the word humble and what it really meant, I decided to look up the definition.  Imagine my surprise when I realized that the definitions were as varied and at opposite ends as my thoughts. defines humble as:

[huhm-buhl, uhm-]
not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.
having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.
low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: of humble origin; a humble home.
courteously respectful: In my humble opinion you are wrong.
low in height, level, etc.; small in size: a humble member of the galaxy.
to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.
to destroy the independence, power, or will of.
to make meek: to humble one’s heart.
Some humbleness can come from awe, some humbleness can be deceiving, some humbleness can be done by you and some can be done to you.  Amazing.  Once again leaving it all to the interpretation not to mention the agenda of the interpreter.
Coming full circle on “worthwhile” writing.  I do believe that writing for myself has always been my goal, so being humbled by other writings doesn’t change anything.
This week the whole subject came full circle.  R is building another one of his inventions.  We have been researching high and low for information on this trike he wants to build.  Nothing.  It is impossible that no one has though of his idea.  As his latest mock up has been dubbed “Suicidal – trike”, we are thinking, it has been tried before and didn’t work.  The point of this story is that when people fail they don’t necessarily write  it down and no one else writes about it.  If it was written down, the next person to come up with the idea would have a starting point to build on and not have to start at the beginning each time and perhaps give up as well.  Technology is developed by others mistakes; picking up where others left off and tweaking things around.
 Why can’t life follow the same lines?
This may be my answer.   My justification for plodding on.  My push when I am “humbled” by others words.  I will still add my own,  just in case.
Feathers and Candy Canes
Feathers and Candy Canes

2 thoughts on “Being Humble is a conundrum”

  1. That is so true – the indescribable feeling when an author nails your thoughts better than you can describe them yourself.

    Only time will show whether our “humble” beginnings and received messages were better/worse or just different than today’s messages about how everybody is a superstar or hero or rewarded for doing what they should be doing even without promise (bribe) of reward. Does that empower them or discourage incentive to strive and challenge themselves?

    I feel the same way about expressing myself to others – I am WOW’ed over and over again by the deep thought and eloquence of other bloggers (including you), and think I have little of value to bring to others. But some of the WordPress “lessons” have stressed that there are NO new tales – fiction or non – they’ve all been told, therefore we are ALL re-telling. Once I read that I felt better about having nothing “new” to say, and practice more on how I say it.

    Your tangle is drop-dead gorgeous, and I love the tattered edges of the paper adding another dimension to this beautiful piece.

    Interesting idea about recording our failures -especially inventions -to help those who come after. You packed a lot of thinking into this post.

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