October 29, 2010


Country singer, Mac Davis, sings, "Oh, Lord, it's hard to be humble, when you're perfect in every way".

Can the illusion of "perfection", or the exaltation of oneself, lead to being humbled? Consider this joke:

NFL quarterbacks, Brett Favre, Eli Manning and Tom Brady died and went to heaven. They are greeted by God at the Pearly Gates. God said to all three, "Before you enter heaven, please tell Me what you did on earth to deserve being up here".

Brett Favre answered, "I promoted team work and worked hard to set a good example for others". God replied, "Nice job, Brett. Please enter the gates, and you can sit on My right side".

Eli Manning responded, "I did those things, too, and I looked out after the children". "Very nice, Eli", said God. "You can come in and sit on My left side".


God interupted the pause and said, "Well, Tom. I'm waiting. What have you done on earth to deserve being up here in heaven"? Tom Brady answered, "Excuse me, God. You're sitting in my chair".

On the other hand, can humility, or the humbling of oneself, lead to being exalted? Consider the following story:

There are four bakeries located on the same street, in the same town. Each of them works hard to sell more doughnuts than the others.

Bakery #1 advertises by saying, "We sell the best doughnuts in the country"!

Bakery #2 wants to compete, so they advertise by saying, "We sell the best doughnuts in the world"!

Not to be outdone by the first two bakeries, bakery #3 advertises by saying, "We sell the best doughnuts in the universe"!

Then there is bakery #4. It's a mom and pop bakery. Their strategy to sell more doughnuts is by saying, "We sell the best doughnuts on this street"!

The moral of the story: Keep it simple, and be humble to be effective!

The joke and the story reveal two interesting lessons:
1. Some people like to wear the mask of "perfection".
2. Other people go through life wearing no mask.

What is the difference between someone who believes they are perfect and someone who believes they are imperfect? The perfect person has the attitude, "I'm not like other people". While that may be true when we're talking about likes, dislikes, personalities, values, skills, experiences, etc., it isn't true when we're talking about our humanity, the common ground for human-beings. Imperfection is one characteristic of the basis of our humanity. It is not to say that our humanity acts as an excuse for our imperfections. Rather, it is the common realization all human beings have strengths and growth areas because nobody is perfect.

Imperfect people keep it simple by being genuine, respectful, dignified and truthful in their relations with self and others. There is no need to wear a mask. The down-to-earth, mom and pop bakery that decided not to wear a mask when marketing their goods probably sold more doughnuts because truth-in-advertising works. So-called "perfect" people wear a mask that hides one's true human identity.

To learn humility, it is important to be genuine and honest in order to face the truth about oneself; the good, the bad and the ugly so-to-speak. Self-revelation [by way of counseling and/or prayer] helps teach self-acceptance, self-respect and dignity. Self-revelation happens when a person can look into a mirror and see someone looking back who is not wearing a mask. It is humbling because the reflection would be an honest depiction of the person's humanity. From that starting point, a personal decision is made. Do I need to wear a mask or not? If I choose not to wear one, I can begin to see other people not wearing one, too. The person sees themself, and others, as human-beings.

It is an honest, simple and humbling revelation, devoid of any exaltation that underscores our common ground: There is one race, the human race.

For people who wrestle with their humanity, think of the eloquent words by Canadian songwriter, musician, poet and novelist, Leonard Cohen, who said, "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in".

Thank you, Father Doug Bignall, for your inspirational sermons, which helped me to write this article for Stooltime Counseling!

Written by,
Mark Rogers, LPC.
Licensed Professional Counselor

      Thanks for supporting Stooltime Counseling, Samantha!

Stooltime Counseling supports small business owners like Potato Joe, whose vegetable and fruit stand is located in Anchorville, MI. Likewise, Potato Joe supports Stooltime Counseling. Thanks, Joe!

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