“Be Humble Day” is worth bragging about

I have long been cynical about “Hallmark Holidays.” You know, occasions like Grandparents Day and Sweetest Day, which seem to have been trumped up by merchants to help sell more greeting cards, not to mention boosting flower, candy and restaurant sales! So I occasionally glance at online special days calendars to amuse myself over the latest manufactured holidays.

I know, I know, I’ve written on this topic more than once, but as long as they keep pitching up ridiculousness, I am going to keep swinging at it. Besides, it’s not like I keep writing about same special days, over and over. No, I’m definitely an equal opportunity mocker who is always on the lookout for new topics. It’s no different during the month of February.

Bored, while one of my kids was getting a haircut, I went to a favorite source for who-cares-kinds-of-information: http://www.holidayinsights.com. It did not disappoint.  I noted February 5 had been declared “National Weatherman’s Day” and February 6 “Lame Duck Day.” February 9 was “Toothache Day” (who in the world would want to celebrate that?!) and February 11 was recognized as “Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day.” I laughed perhaps hardest at February 12, which was dubbed “National Lost Penny Day.”

At a loss for how to observe National Lost Penny Day? The website offers suggestions:

  • Seek out lost pennies. Make a game of it. Be sure to include the kids in this scavenger hunt.
  • Flip a coin (a penny) to help you make decisions today.
  • Donate your pennies to a good cause.
  • Roll up and cash in your horde of pennies.
  • Start a penny collection.
  • Throw pennies in a fountain and make a wish.
  • Give someone a penny for their thoughts.
  • Take a few pennies and buy some penny candy.

Clearly busywork for people who have too much time on their hands! I thought “Be Humble Day” on February 22 had much more life-changing potential. A February 22, 2016 article about Be Humble Day on craveonline.com addressed the issue of healthy pride versus unhealthy pride. Its author Whitney Seibold shared some practical wisdom:

“The problem arises when that pride becomes your daily fuel. I’ve seen it happen. You have too,” Seibold said. “A friend on Facebook gets a little too passionate about a political issue or editorial stance, and you begin to suspect that the argument is less and less about them making sure their point is communicated, and more and more about they, themselves, ensuring you that they are right, right, right. There is a whole section of humanity that, bolstered by the internet, thrives on argument. Not on changing people’s minds, or engaging in healthy debate on a serious topic, but bickering. Argument for the sake of the arguer is not argument. It’s ego in action.”

I love this guy! He just described one of my biggest pet peeves. Seibold also shared the famous observation from beloved author C.S. Lewis, that, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” That’s a great theme to build a day around. I came up with a list of 10 humility-reinforcing engagement activities:

1.       Give someone else more credit for a project in which you both participated.

2.       Refuse to accept credit or a reward for something you did.

3.       Don’t interrupt someone else’s point with your own (which you obviously believe to be more important).

4.       Avoid saying “in my humble opinion” because that always signals an arrogant statement is about to follow.

5.       Publicly admit a mistake or misjudgment you have made.

6.       Refrain from giving unsolicited advice verbally or mentally.

7.       Underestimate instead of brag when telling a story about yourself.

8.       Tell someone he/she was right and you were wrong.

9.       Post on Facebook something embarrassingly foolish about yourself.

10.   Recognize a consistently helpful, unsung hero in your life.

I’m guessing most people will humbly decline my “Be Humble Day” activities. No doubt, most will pick the lower-hanging fruit on “Open That Bottle Night” (February 25), “No Brainer Day” (February 27) and “Public Sleeping Day” (February 28). Because, Lord, it’s hard to be humble. To that I can attest!

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