Day 14 – HUMILITY: Making mistakes is part of learning and growing. Freely acknowledge at least one mistake you make today, and reflect for a couple of minutes on what you have learned.
I took a few weeks off from contributing to the SNV project because I got sidetracked with other blog entries…guess that’s the ADD in me. Anyway, my approach to completing this project has shifted and the new plan to allow for the flexibility of going with the flow of life and what speaks to me; therefore, I will contribute to this series when my inner being moves me to do so.
Marriam Webster Dictionary defines hu·mil·i·ty as “the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people; the quality or state of being humble”.
When John Travolta mispronounced or changed Idina Menzel’s name to Adele Dazeem in front of millions of people worldwide, I didn’t think much of it because, to be honest, I didn’t know who he was talking about. Well, the audience and Ms. Menzel’s fans jumped on the fumble and the video snippet went viral in matter of minuets.
Admired for his good looks, blockbuster movies, and generally being a nice guy (as stated by people who know him), John’s response to the media storm after the event increased this writer’s respect for him. Mr. Travolta did not show anger with the media for blowing the whole thing out of proportion, instead he released a statement shared with the public:
“I’ve been beating myself up all day. Then I thought…what would Idina Menzel say? She’d say, “Let it go, let it go!” Idina is incredibly talented and I am so happy Frozen took home two Oscars Sunday night!”
“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Yes, I am a fan of Mr. Travolta, not because of his movies or his acting, or even his good looks. I’m a fan because the thing that shines brightly during his interviews is his humbleness. This legendary movie star does not put on airs and seems to genuinely enjoy and appreciate his fans. Additionally, reading about the death of his son in a heartfelt article, he also seems to be a caring and loving husband and father.
The Oscar blunder could have gone sideways. He could have blamed error on whoever wrote the cue cards/teleprompter, he could have blamed in on his eye contacts being blurry. Indeed, the blame could have been directed in many directions but he was man enough to acknowledge his slip – “I’ve been beating myself up” over the misstep.
Furthermore, to his point, all he needed to do was “let it go” because we’ve all made blunders (some more public than others) and had to learn to move beyond it in order to maintain our sanity. It happens.
It seems to me that he was more concerned with Ms. Menzel’s reaction (after all she was the inadvertent object of his gaff) than how he was perceived by the public. He also seemed genuinely happy that the movie Frozen was awarded two Oscars of which the theme song was sang by Ms. Menzel. He did not turn the situation into a pity party or made it all about him. That’s Humility in action.
Mother Teresa shares with us a few ways to practice humility:
To speak as little as possible of one’s self.
To mind one’s own business.
Not to want to manage other people’s affairs.
To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.
To pass over the mistakes of others.
To accept insults and injuries.
To accept being slighted, forgotten, and disliked.
To be kind and gentle even under provocation.
Never to stand on one’s dignity.
By Mother Teresa, The joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living
Season for Nonviolence: http://www.agnt.org/season-for-nonviolence
Next Entry: REVERENCE – enjoy the beauty around, above and below you.
Day 11- CONTEMPLATION: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is”. For at least 3 minutes, relax, breath, and let your mind be fed by “whatsoever is good and beautiful.” Open your eyes and write your good thoughts.
“Writers have an opinion about the world and offer arguments about the world. They should offer contemplation.”– Salman Rushdie
There is so much suffering going on in the world. Whether it’s people living in war zones, children made to fight in these wars instead of enjoying their childhood, people dealing with illness(es), the pain of losing a loved one, an unwanted romantic breakup, people living on the streets (especially in the winter cold), unexpectedly losing a job, or any type of suffering people might be dealing with at this time. Suffering is devastating no matter how you look at it.
Let’s not forget though, that not only people experience suffering. Since the Olympic Games is the top news of the day, I will contemplate what’s going on in Sochi. A few days ago I read about the plight of stray dogs around Olympic Village. The report stated that since October 2013, the Russian government authorized a pest removal company to round up stray dogs and kill them. Since the eradication began, 300 stray dogs have been killed each month from a chemical injection that causes suffocation.
Now, I am not one of those PETA members (nothing wrong with being a member) or go overboard about cruelty to animals. I was not raised in the type of environment where pets were our “best friend”. I was born in a country where “pets” belonged outside. They may wander through the house now and then, but for the most part they are outside animals. And please, let me not even mention what my grandparents would do if they saw a cat walking on their kitchen counter. My got my first pet (a cat) when I moved out on my own and was able to allow them inside the house. But when I read about the dogs in Sochi being killed so they would not spoil the aesthetics of the games, I was outraged. Sure strays might present a safety issue, so rounding them up to keep people safe is acceptable in my book, but must they be killed? Why not put them in a shelter?
Well, today I was happy to read that Russian billionaire Oleg V. Deripaska has paid for a rescue team in conjunction with his charity organization to bring stray animals to a local shelter. The hope is to get these animals adopted by pet lovers. Sounds good to me!!
So, my good and beautiful thoughts go out to Mr. Deripaska and his rescue team for rescuing these animals. What they are doing is humane and compassionate. My good and beautiful thoughts go out to those who will adopt the dogs and save them from euthanasia. It’s a temporary fix, but at least an effort is on the way to save these animals.
“That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful.” Edgar Allan Poe
Tomorrow’s Preview: Day 12 GROUNDEDNESS – Gandhi said, “To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves.”
**Season for Nonviolence campaign, also known as The Gandhi-King Season for Nonviolence (SNV), asks us to focus our attention on attaining peace through nonviolent actions. More info at: http://www.agnt.org/season-for-nonviolence**