The least pleasant parts of humility
This is not going to be a humble post, but that’s OK, because I’m not really doing a good job of being a humble person.
This is going to be a post about grieving, and a peculiar kind of grieving at that.
As I’ve talked about in the past, sometimes my dad tells me stuff. (You might peruse all the posts I’ve written about the stuff my dad has talked to me about in the past — that’s under the “Dad Talk” category.) For the past few years, the message has been about being gracious and treating people well. It’s generally cryptic enough (at least to me; everyone else loves it) that I either have no idea what he’s saying, or I can at least understand what he’s saying, but not understand how to do it. Like, the advice: “be gracious.” Well…easier said than done.
Anyway, that’s why I’m interested in blogs like Into the Hills. Spiritual transformation? Sign me up, maybe.
Unfortunately, their blog kinda falls into the same category as the stuff my dad says.
I was listening to the Mormon Matters podcast episode on grace earlier today, and the same thing happened. Like, near the end, they start talking about how someone might actually have that experience of grace, and I’m like, “What is this; I don’t even?”
Anyway, where is the grieving?
I need more context.
Anyway, so much of my father’s advice has been to watch what I say. Especially what I say online. And I mean, I am aware of the risks of social media — the internet it public and permanent. And so he says,
“Sometimes, it is best not to let anyone know what you think.”
…well, if you’re a blogger (or otherwise involved with social media), then perhaps you should see the same issue with this statement that I see.
Sometimes, you want to let people know what you think.
I think I understand the message…you can never know when others’ knowing what you think can be used against you…whereas your silence generally cannot be used against you. As a policy then, your silence is your armor and your weapon. (Discretion is the better part of valor, no?)
I dunno. Sometimes, I want to explain my position. I want to be understood, and so I get into discussions. If I disagree with something, I want to make my opinion known. Perhaps because I think we can come to some sort of understanding. Perhaps just because I want to get my opinion out there.
But still, my father says:
“We do not always have to set the record straight or to correct or to show other’s weaknesses in public.”
And so I have been coming to an awareness that I’m going to be confronted with loss one way or another…the loss of my more public and publicizing me. After all, my father has also said:
There will come a time when you will not find it necessary to blog.
I’m not at that point. I’m at the point where voicing my opinion is really important to me.
But I guess conceptually, I am starting to think that the point is that humility is the point at which I won’t take so much stock in “my opinion” that I “have” to have it out there. Grace is coming to the point where no matter what people say, how much I disagree, or whatever, I’ll be secure enough with myself that I won’t have to “make my case” or whatever.
Now, this seems unpleasant. Whenever I refrain from posting something, I want to cry out about how I resisted posting! I want to mourn about the post that never was. But then I realize that to cry out would be to defeat the purpose.
That is the least pleasant part about humility…You can never talk about it because that defeats the purpose. You have to do it silently and imperceptibly.
If you have a problem, you can’t really talk about that problem. But then you can’t talk about how you have restrained yourself from talking about the problem. You can’t walk around with a scowl or with clenched teeth. You have to appear as if there is nothing the matter.
I am not not not not not there. If I were there, I would never have published this post.