Monday, April 11, 2011

What Do These Two Women Have in Common?

I believe Pride is the number one source of strife in our relationships, and the number one barricade to the power of God in any given life. As I think about the part I play in our family, I realize that I have a huge impact on the happiness of those around me, and that those I love the most may be the the people I am most likely to take for granted. To keep from being a diva, even in one’s own home, is essential.

Each family member, in fact, has the ability to bring the rest of the family up or down. “If Mama ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy”? Well, yes. That seems about right. Since I can only control and improve my own behavior, and my mindset affects those dearest to me, I often try to set about self-improvement. I find my muses for leading an exemplary life all over, but most often in printed pages – fiction and non.

So what do these two incredible women have in common? Besides romantic black-and-white portraits on the faces of my paperback biographies, it might seem not much. But Agatha Christie and Grace Kelly both cultivated one astounding quality that, given each one’s circumstances, seems nothing short of miraculous: Humility. One the best-selling author of all time, the other Hollywood starlet turned genuine princess, each seemed to think herself fairly ordinary. Reading Agatha Christie’s autobiography, I am amazed by how effortlessly she seems to enjoy life and how little she thinks of her own cleverness. Diving into my new biography of Grace, I see similar things. What a strong mind it must take not to have one’s head turned a million different ways by stunning success. How easy it is to feel superior and how hard to remember that we are but dust, and glitter fades. I figure the worst time to try and cultivate genuine, joyful, contented humility is when you’re already a big success, just as when the life crises hits, a strong foundation is crucial beforehand, so I am working on the quality of humility now. I have a feeling this is something that will never be checked off my to-do list, but at least I can become aware of how pride creeps into my everyday existence and do my best to beat it back with a broom.

Practical ways to cultivate humility today? I’ve decided to focus on others, what I love about them. And, of course, any suggestions are welcome.

Much love.


  1. " I’ve decided to focus on others" -- I find that when I purposely make it a point to do this that life tends to flow more easily. Being honest, it is so easy to get caught up in pride and just in ourselves. It is easy to think about what we are feeling, what we want, how we think things should go/happen, about our disappointments when things don't turn out how we imagined, etc. and it can be all-consuming and really cause strife with those around you. I totally agree with you. It goes back to that cliche saying that "I am my own worst enemy". It's true, most of the time. Whether it be the self-criticism, the self-neglect, the self-pride, etc. it just eats away at us emotionally, mentally and phyically. When we not just think of others, but do for others, I think we tend to nurture and cultivate ourselves more appropriately, too.

    That is just my two cents ;)

  2. Most of the cliches are true, I agree. And I totally agree about doing for others making us happier and better able to care for ourselves. I recently read something about that virtuous cycle, saying something like, "When I am happy, I find it easier to make others happy, when I make others happy, I am happier." :)