What a Picture Frame Taught me About Humility and How it Applies to Life
I sat across this frame for hours, five days, sometimes seven in a week for several months but never noticed the words on it. It got me thinking about how oblivious we can be to even the most conspicuous things around us.
All that you’ve seen is not all that there is
I see this phenomenon also in how life goes. As a writer, I often have to go over what I’ve written several times so I could spot typos, from the obvious ones to the tiny ones. I’d then send it to a friend to help me read through. I’m always amazed at the errors they bring to my attention and I’ll wonder how I didn’t spot them. It makes me a little careful about my estimation of myself even in the things I do well. I believe it’s the same in every area of life; just perhaps all that we’ve seen is not all that there is. Humility is healthy even in our best moments.
This mindset prepares us to handle our own inadequacies or of our values. We hold an idea, we believe it passionately, we consider it to be ultimate, in our conviction we go all out for it, but then we notice a crack in the wall, too late to back down, we think. We spend all of the efforts trying to defend what we now realize is not absolute because we believed values have to be immaculate or we become hypocrites. The truth is, ideas don’t have to be absolute to be told, values don’t have to be ultimate before we hold them dearly but, we must embrace what we know in parts. We must consider it our own contribution to the big picture, humbly enough to understand that we are by ourselves insufficient and that our ideas and ideals are not the answer to everything.
Words are powerful, use them kindly
Then to the words in the frame. Unfortunately, I don't know who made this extremely insightful statement but every day we must remind ourselves that if we have nothing else, we have words and with it, we are either building up or tearing down, there are no in-betweens. So, use words kindly and wisely.