Feb 7, 2008

On Losing, Humility, and Being a Better Person

A friend reminded me today of an experience that taught me a few lessons, and I began to think about the process of losing and what it means to a person's character.

The specifics of the particular loss are irrelevant, save to say that the experience involved an academic award. Having racked up a series of significant academic and journalistic honors over the last few years, I have to admit that I began to view this award as something I had already won, as well as something I deserved.

Some might rightfully describe this attitude as "cocky" or "arrogant," and - truth be told - they are right.

I am convinced that God intended for me to lose, and that I needed to be knocked down a few pegs from my haughty perch. There were plenty of other people who were deserving of the particular award, not the least of whom was the actual winner, and I am somewhat ashamed to acknowledge that I whined about losing for a few days afterward. Ah, if we could travel back in time and give ourselves a knock about the head when we needed it, right?

I say somewhat ashamed, because part of the process of embracing the virtue of humility as a part of one's personality is being willing and able to publicly admit one's failings. This is not to wallow in my failure, mind you, but to view a defeat as a part of life and a part of who I am.

So, thank you, God, for the defeat and the greater lesson in being humble. It took me a few months to understand the manner of Your ways, but I think I have this one figured out.


Anonymous said...

nice post, mike.

Tim Higgins said...


Thanks for reminding me of this wonderful life lesson today. It will save the world from reminding for a bit longer.

Barb said...

Out of your humility comes wisdom and help for the rest of us.

I like you!