You’ll relate with this... I’m dead sure everyone will. You’re sitting in a meeting at work. There are people there who sit under where you’re at in the pecking order, and there are people there who sit over you in the pecking order. Let’s just say you’re equally placed. Then something weird happens...
You open your mouth in a weak moment, perhaps on something you aren’t really an authority on, and not only is your credibility an issue, your stance on the matter brings you quickly to a point of consternation with the majority of the group. Go figure!
If you don’t relate, I certainly do. I’m occasionally a victim of ‘foot-in-mouth’ syndrome and then there’s the matter of reclaiming lost ground and any of the credibility lost... or is it? Do we really need to clamour back lost ground?
Perhaps instead of fighting back with ways of re-establishing our respect and credibility we could simply accept we’re not perfect? We’ll all have ‘unlucky days’ and learning to handle them humbly is a lesson of its own.
We all have thorns in our sides—things that interminably trip us up. I’m sure it’s like this for a reason, for no one gets the lion’s share of attention, kudos, respect or admiration.
It’s a good thing that life is balanced in these ways; that we get opportunities at managing pride so we can feel embarrassed and so we can have the opportunity to respond correctly—and in doing so affirm the good character trait of humility. Yeh, sure, we stuffed up. So what? This dog (like every dog) lives to fight another day.
Life is all about coming back, avenging the pride within that threatens to overwhelm us in self-pity, resentment, bitterness and anger, caused by stoked embarrassment.
We avenge these situations best by simply appreciating how it feels to be a temporary underling. We sit “in” ourselves. It may sound strange, but we experience the moment. How else will we empathise with the next person who makes the same sort of embarrassing faux pas?
And this is the point. It’s not really about us. The less we can focus on our own gaffes the more success we’ll have in life, and the happier we’ll inevitably be.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.