Nobody stands taller than those willing to stand corrected. ~William Safire
Being able to laugh at ourselves is incredibly freeing. And it’s not only about having a sense of humor,
~ it’s about humility.
It’s one of those self-observances that offers me another reason for gratitude at aging. Yes, aging. Getting older has rewards, such as when I observe how I react to something with an awareness that in my thirties or twenties I may not have been so calm (or humble, or mindful) to even notice. While I believe ‘growing up’ is a lifelong process, the years offer wisdom if we choose to live with awareness.
Yesterday my husband and I brought our dog for the short drive to a huge dog park, rather than just throwing the ball in the off-leash field at the end of the block. At first, our shepherd-collie cross got so excited about the other dogs that we held onto the ball and just walked the circuit for a while as she happily shared her enthusiasm for all her canine-kin. Her life spent living with three humans and three cats must wear on her at times, especially considering her life-before-me involved hardships like starvation and living year-round outdoors, neglected, but still! she was surrounded by other dogs. Now she is ever at my side, flopped on one or another floor beds (when not chasing balls!) and living an indulgent life as a loved indoor, albeit solo, dog.
So here we were at the dog park, laughing with other owners as they said to her, “Oh, you’re just so excited, aren’t you?” because her leaps and wagging tail and little barks made her joy clearly evident. It took a while for her to calm down and start to look at us with that intense ‘Ball? Where’s the Ball!’ gaze. Hubby and I paced ourselves between the groups of people and dogs walking along the path, and began to offer little throws. Short throws are rather challenging with using a ball-chucker, one of those brilliant inventions of hard molded-plastic that create distance with throwing a ball. Short spans can be difficult, however short throws are required in a crowded dog park. You can’t throw too far to have the ball come into the area of other groups of dogs and people (or risk hitting anyone) and not off the path because of the long weeds and thick grass waiting to trap and lose yet another ball. Add to that the fact that we have to keep our eyes open for ball-mad dogs, those types obsessed enough to steal any ball they see thrown! Finding the windows of opportunity to throw the ball can become rather small.
Hubby was mastering it pretty well though. While we often trade off, he was in charge of the ball-chucker because I was carrying the poop-bag. Ah yes, the joys of responsible pet-ownership in a park with bins only in the parking lot, so you have to walk the full circuit around a massive wild area carrying your fur-kids’ trophy. And although he offers to help carry, I claim it as the primary dog-person. So he was ball-chucking and I was cheering him on. Until one time when we had an opening of some distance ahead and he got ready to launch, dog-daughter eyes entranced and breath held, and then the release went straight DOWN, hitting hard into the dirt only a couple of feet in front of us, barely missing our dog!
I gave out a sigh and said quietly, “Here” with an outreached hand for the ball-chucker. “Let me.” He handed it over to me, and we kept walking, waiting for another opening without groups too close. A minute later there was a good opening, and I was ready to let sail a short throw. So I lifted and released – and the ball went STRAIGHT DOWN, barely missing our dog, in the exact same arc that he had just thrown! I could not have more perfectly mimicked his ‘flawed’ throw if I tried. We both burst out laughing. Myself, so hard, I had to stop and bend over, placing a hand on his to steady myself. Breathless, I stood and smiled at him as I said, “Is now when you offer me some humble-pie? I’ll eat it, that’s for sure” but he said “No” through his laughter, displaying his quiet strength. “Oh you’ll just wait on fate and the Universe to serve it up to me, right?” I said with a laugh, to which he nodded and agreed with a big smile, “Apparently!”
Oh how I love that man. When I remember the cruel sarcasm and instant arguments in my long ago past, from partners fiery and impulsive like myself, I feel deep gratitude that my soul mate ended up being such a Zen-like, grounded balance for my frequently fervent, quick reactions.
I fully believe that as we grow in self-awareness, lessons come back to us much more quickly. This was an amazing example to me, because it happened right after his throw, which led to my gesture for the chucker. Yes I throw for our dog every day and he throws much more rarely. So I was thinking: My turn! Let me ‘do it right’ and the Universe (God) said ‘Here! Have some humble-pie’.
We do not always have to eat our words. Sometimes we have to eat our actions.
A fellow blogger’s quote that inspired me with writing this post:
“Life is made of tragicomically controversial moments. One man’s painful fall may cause a bystander to burst into an inappropriate laugh. While in stitches ridiculing the clumsiness of a stranger, the bystander himself may slip on a banana skin and fall hard… Though hurting really badly – through all the moaning – he’d start laughing even harder. Why? Because he sees the irony in what happened to him.”
Please click link to read full article and enjoy further: http://nyparrot.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/good-humor-me-classical-music-little-nightmare-concert/
A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle. ~Benjamin Franklin
Blushing is the color of virtue. ~Diogenes
We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility. ~Rabindranath Tagore
True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes. ~Edward Frederick Halifax
Wear your learning like your watch, in a private pocket; and do not pull it out, and strike it, merely to show that you have one. ~Lord Chesterfield