Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Struggles with humility

One of the hardest things that I struggle with is humility.

I'm given plenty of opportunities to practise humility - a lot of what I do goes unnoticed, and there have been many occasions when other people have claimed credit for things that I have done. On those occasions, though, I always want to jump up and down and say, "Look what I did!", "That was my idea!", "I thought of that first!" or something similar to make sure that any praise and glory comes my way.

But how many times do I also fail to give credit to others? Am I so wrapped up in trying to ensure people notice what I've been doing that I fail to notice what others have done? Am I responsible for making others feel as small and unappreciated as I'm sometimes made to feel?

Last night I came home to find a message on my answering machine from the mother of one of my godchildren, just thanking me for the friendship that I give to her family and saying how much they appreciate me and pray for me. It wasn't any sort of special day, and I hadn't done anything special - and that message made my heart glow.

I often pat myself on the back and congratulate myself on how well I think I'm doing at living my faith, but how often do I do little things like that to make a real positive difference to the way someone is feeling?

So today I made a simple resolution - every time I feel that I have been belittled, ignored or taken for granted, I'm going to look around me and see if I can make someone else feel appreciated, whether it be with a card, a letter, a phone call, a bunch of flowers, or even a simple smile and "thank you" or "well done".

Perhaps that'll help me to take my focus away from my own self-centred negativity. And perhaps I'll also be able to make someone's day, the way my friend made my day yesterday.

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