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« Tech lessons from Tokyo | Main | The lost souls of technology training »
Sunday
May122013

BFTP: Humility builders

A weekend Blue Skunk "feature" will be a revision of an old post. I'm calling this BFTP: Blast from the Past. Original post April 28, 2008. The garage door I write about below was replaced (by a professional) less than a year after I installed this one.

Here is the new garage door I installed this weekend on the "shed." Don't look too hard or too close. It's on. It goes up and it goes down. It looks much better than the one I removed. My skinned knuckles are healing nicely. The project didn't require a trip into town for more parts. Nobody called the police on account of bad language. Still this sort of project is definitely a challenge for me.

I woke up this morning wondering who got the "handy" genes in our family. My dad was very mechanical and my mom was a house painter, furniture restorer, and the like.  My brother and sister must have lucked out. I know I didn't inherit one lick of ability in this area. Any project like installing a garage door, repairing a faucet, or putting together a toy raises my humility quotient by at least 100%. 

Which is a good thing.

I find that I get into the most trouble, act the most stupid, and embarrass myself the most when I am thinking too highly of myself. Getting knocked down a notch or two usually makes me a nicer person. At least for a while.  I know this.

Here are a few other humility builders (oxymoron?)

  1. Full length mirrors (see below)
  2. Stupid typographical errors or just plain awkward writing in work you've made public.
  3. Chewing somebody out, then getting all the facts, then apologizing.
  4. Reading others' writing that is more profound, beautiful and thoughtful than you ever hope to create.
  5. Watching yourself on videotape.
  6. Having an article rejected by a publisher. Or two. Or three.
  7. Being taken to task for something you've said by someone you respect.
  8. Getting a pointy-haired boss cartoon taped to your door.
  9. The amount of my royalty checks.
  10. The look on my network manager's face when I ask him the meaning of an acronym.

There are plenty of others but these come to mind.

Why is it so difficult to be grateful for the things that do us so much good? Like getting taken down a notch or two

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Reader Comments (1)

Doug,

Your humility shines through in all your posts and is one of the primary reasons that I read (and share) your writing.

No need to reply.

Best,

John

May 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Dyer

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