Do you like Humans of New York on Facebook? It's one of my favorite pages because I learn so much about people. That person sitting on the bench may have just lost their job, or that colorful character may have been abused as a child. Hearing the stories of complete strangers makes you realize that everybody has their own unique story of pain, tragedy, love, and lessons. I love hearing people's stories.
Yesterday a man who was interviewed said,
“I don’t enjoy observing people as much as I used to. Everyone acts
like they’re on stage. People used to come to The Village sheepishly.
Nobody was sure if they belonged. We didn’t know if we were artists.
These days everyone walks around like they’re contributing something.
There’s no angst anymore. There’s too much certainty. And that’s a
shame. Because all the best art comes from people who feel like they
don’t belong. Art is a way of proving your existence. When
I was a young man, a person that I respected told me that I was an
artist. It was one of the worst things that could have happened to me.
I stopped walking into museums or galleries with a sense of awe. I
walked in feeling like an ‘artist.’ My arms would be crossed. If I
liked a piece, it was ‘good.’ If I didn’t like a piece, it was ‘bad.’ I
didn't feel vulnerable anymore. I lost my humility. And that’s when
Judging by the comments on the post it hit home for many. I think in a day and age where "a trophy for everyone!" is the mantra is when we lose working for a title. I'm not sure when it started, probably sometime between my childhood (the 80's) and my adulthood (2000) but all of a sudden everything had to be politically correct. If you showed up for an event you got a ribbon just the same as the person who put in hours/weeks/months of work.
It may have happened around the time of reality television. Families like the Kardashians are famous...for the life of me I can't figure out why. Some famous singers are anything but singers. We've lost the awe of really good art, really good work, really talented people because of this mindset.
Others in the comments disagreed with this man, stating that if one is an artist they should be proud of their work. I, personally, don't think that is what the man was saying. He said that the minute you lose your humility is when you stop growing. If you know everything, how can you learn anything?
It's something that I think we all struggle with at times. We all have our own talents (1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace) and none are better than another (Philippians 2:3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.) but it will involve work and God given talents and no one is good at everything (Proverbs 12:11 Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.).
I love this humility list of Mother Teresa.
I'm taking it to heart this year and "Humility" will be my word of the year. This is going to be a hard one, a life long lesson for sure.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.
Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”