We’ve all heard it. Maybe we’ve even said it. “You’re not better than me!”
I may be a better singer than you, be a faster runner than you, or know more about the eye than you do. Similarly, you may be a better piano player than me or better public speaker.
Clearly I am being a little facetious. When someone says “You’re not better than me,” they are reacting to an incident where they feel judged by someone else. Usually they have been called out on something and they feel the person calling them out has no right to do so.
For example: they reacted badly to someone cutting them off, got angry and swore. :they refused to tip a waiter because he gave them chicken not beef. :they gave up or quit on a worthwhile task or goal. :they bragged about an achievement, showing little humiility.
Look, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t done one or all of the examples cited above. Some much worse. They are worth being rebuked for because we should be better.
What good does it do to get angry and swear at a driver who can’t hear you? Can you not forgive a waiter knowing that everyone makes mistakes, including you? Who hasn’t quit on something because desired results were slow in coming if at all? No-one achieves anything alone. You can think of someone who helped along the way.
Why does it get under our thin skin when we are corrected? Why do we lash out at those who may be trying to help us. Even if the motives of the rebuker aren’t pure, why can’t we focus on the words said instead of the person saying them.
Websters 1828 dictionary defines it beautifully. Inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.
“How dare you tell me where I’ve gone wrong. What gives you the right? You don’t know me. You can’t judge me!”
It isn’t easy to shut off the pride gene. It is kind of a defense mechanism which we use to protect ourselves. But attempt to shut it off we must. Or at least its effects must manifest themselves less and less as we journey this life together.
- Think of yourself less but don’t think less of yourself.
- Shut up and listen. Respect other thoughts and opinions.
- Recognize your limitations. Get help.
- Be thankful.
- Apologize often.
- Forgive always.
It is getting easier for me to be humble the older I get because my body can’t do things as well as it used to, like lift as much weight, run up a flight of stairs with ease, or rise from a kneeling position without wincing. There is no need to wait for yor body to slap you in the face.
Be humble now!