Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Shirley, pride goes before you fall.

“List ten things you like about yourself or are proud of”.  Seemed like a simple enough request, but when I recently asked two friends to carry out this task, you would’ve thought I’d asked them to strip down to their skivvies and march down the middle of our town’s busiest boulevard.  Truly, given the choice between the two, both of these proper women would’ve chosen NOT to expose what they considered to be a prideful version of themselves, opting instead for Underoos on parade.

 

Wow.  What is up with that?

 

Prying further (I’m a good friend, that’s what we do) these women ‘fessed up that they were raised in homes where you just did not “toot your own horn” – for fear of appearing boastful or proud.  Now, there are plenty of men and women whose families raised them to always be humble, but to the point of doubting their self-worth when all was said and done, in my opinion.  Cheese and crackers, but I think some of that other homespun teaching, such as that “all things in moderation” thing might come in handy in the development of a healthy, yet still humble, sense of self.

 

In the home where I grew up, you didn’t have to worry about ever becoming boastful or proud, because it was made abundantly clear that nothing you were EVER going to do would be something to be proud of.   Someone was always going to be smarter, faster, more talented or deserving.  You and your lil’ self-esteem be darned.  The mantra, “If you’re not number one, you’re nobody” was helpfully repeated on a daily basis to keep one’s ego in check.  Yeah, thank you for that.

 

Again, a little moderation about attitude, in the pride department, might have been helpful.  Because on the flip side of the superior coin, you’ll often find inferior – not humble, but crushed.  Every where I look, there are wonderful people who cannot see their own self-worth.  Amazing, intelligent, beautiful human beings who are unable to objectively appreciate their own value and what they have to offer the world – because somewhere on life’s highway they were robbed.  It usually isn’t just the message of “Don’t toot your own horn” that made them this way, either.  Some have an older sibling whose accomplishments or beauty cast too large a shadow (and only mushrooms grow in the dark).  Others had constant criticism heaped upon their heads, and where that can be motivational for strong kids and lead them to become champions, it can bruise more tender souls who can never rise above.

 

Granted, the pendulum also has a nasty habit of swinging too far in the other direction.  There are troglodytes on every television channel puffed up with an unnatural sense of their aggrandized selves on multiple reality shows.  Kind of like those commercials with the plumped up imposter chickens trying to pass themselves off as high quality poultry (honestly, put a pouf and a spraytan on that one chicken and it is almost a case of Twins-Separated-at-Birth).  Ripped abs and carrot-colored skin does not necessarily make one worthy of watching.  Do some humanitarian work or make an attempt to be a better example of what a human could be.  Because, really?  Alcohol poisoning isn’t all that great an accomplishment and certainly nothing to be proud of.

 

But for those folks out there living what I see as great loving and giving lives, the ones who short-change their worth and do not see their great value to the world, I’m going to propose a little exercise.  You’re going to make a short list of what you value in another human being and the good characteristics that you admire.  Then, honestly ask yourself which of these traits do YOU possess?  In your personal relationships with family and friends (heck, even strangers) which of those qualities would someone point out that you have?  Put a few of those on a wee Post-it note and tuck it into your wallet or next to your toothbrush.  Use it as a daily reminder that each day, as you approach this task we all must complete called life… you can be proud of a job well done.  And if you won’t do it, know that I am here to pat you on the back for it.  Starting with those two ladies in their underwear.

 

Share some Tea with T. Katz with your friends! 

Let’s see how many smiling faces we can gather around the blog table.

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