“Talent is God given; so be humble. Fame is man-given; so be grateful. Conceit is self-given; so be careful.” – John Wooden
No one ever said life would be easy. In the last few years I have been working on a daily basis towards becoming a better human being. I want to know that every decision I make and the image I portray is one that God would smile upon. I don’t pretend to have all the answers and I am by no means perfect. Maybe even one day I will reach the pearly gates only to learn that I have been wrong all along. Nevertheless, we have all been given the choice to make our own assertions on life and as of late my faith is stronger than ever.
I am a firm believer that we should all accept one another for who we are. Whether you are Jewish, Christian, Atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, etc…. I can go on forever… I accept you. I am and always will be, a VERY open mind. I love educating myself on the wonders of the world – religion included. I think that as a whole, we should practice more humility and understanding of one another. The beauty of life is in our individualism, we are different in our own ways, and we don’t have all the answers. No one is better than anyone else and we all leave the world the same way we came in, alone and without a thread of clothing on our backs.
Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD
This brings me to the quote made by John Wooden. In my beliefs, God is he who gives us gifts and blesses us in this world. Just as Job said in verse 1:21 “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.” Absolutely!
God has given each of us so many amazing gifts and it is our choice to use them in a way that honors him. I also know that God does not like boasting and I think most would agree that it is a very ugly behavior. Boasting goes hand in hand with pride, which I am sure you know is one of the seven deadly sins. Whether it is wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, or gluttony, we as humans are likely to commit one, if not many of these sins at one point in our lives. The one I am honing in on today is Pride.
The quote by Wooden then says that fame is man-given so be grateful and conceit is self-give so be careful. In the world of baseball specifically, pride can consume you, especially as fame sets in. Whether you are prideful or you are surrounded by prideful people, it is a sin that can overwhelm your day to day life. If you ask me, humility is the greatest gift you can give someone. C.S. Lewis once said, “humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” That couldn’t be more on target. When you are humble you are more willing to listen and more willing to give back.
At times I have said things and then thought back only to wish I could retract my words. Not because it was rude, but because it wasn’t said with humility at it’s core. Sometimes I find myself wanting to talk about my husband’s successes because I am so happy for him and proud of his hard work, but at the same time I know that while we can be at the top of a mountain one moment, we can be at the bottom of a valley the next. I also empathize incredibly with others who may not be experiencing the same fate as me. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I almost feel bad for achieving success while others don’t. I have been like this my whole life but I am pretty sure it’s not how God wants me to feel.
In baseball and in life in general, we have to live one day at a time. So much can change in the blink of an eye and having humility saves face when you least expect it. At the end of the day we are all equals, so I urge you to take a step back before speaking. It is important to listen to the words you are about to say before they leave your lips and assess how they would make you feel if the tables were turned.
To humility and beyond!