To practice a genuine humility…

That headline has been eating at me daily for a while now. I do not possess any great talent. No great aptitude or desire, nor discipline. Just a selfish, immature guy trying to do better today than I did yesterday. So, practicing a genuine humility should come easy to me. But, for some reason, it doesn’t.

Oftentimes it is beyond my grasp. This is not pity-me time. It is quick-inventory time rooted in fact and motive. Regrettably, those of you who read this column might have to endure this one as well.

Furthermore, I can’t speak about specifics because you can cause more pain than originally intended. So, you have a choice: You identify specifics where you cause more pain and embarrassment or you speak vaguely about harm caused by actions fueled by basic insensitivity. Yes, there’s more; such as glibness, rudeness and plain ol’ stupidity. But insensitivity tops the list.

Let’s start this way: I am a reporter using words to tell stories. My audience is of little importance to me. My stories are actually of no importance, other than to empty my head of all the noise inside. I write because I don’t seem to have a choice. I do it because it needs to be done – I guess. Most assuredly not for anybody else. But for me. I seem to have to do it. And the very real fact that my reporting, my stories, hurts others bothers me, and I am sorry.

I do not like being hurt. I know what that feels like. It’s an awful, lancinating (no need to look it up, it means “…to stab, pierce, or tear…”) act of violence; a soul sickness that is driven deep inside your bone marrow. I am not saying this is how others react. I am only saying this is how I react.

I have grown over the years, incrementally at the most, to be a little better, but in many ways not so much progress. I am sensitive to my core, and wish no harm to come to others.  Why would I cause others what has caused me such unimaginable grief? I do not have an answer, except to say that I don’t look at it as hurtful; accurate, truthful, even funny, perhaps. At least from my point of view. Obviously, I am wrong many times over.

I do try and be careful, like protecting my job. It is my livelihood and I certainly need the paycheck. So, I don’t write about what I do. I don’t think that’s fair to the good people who have bestowed upon me a remarkable job that, at times, can do some good. I hope so, anyway.

I bet there’s a few out there that would rather I stop writing altogether about anything and everything.

And everything has consequences. I know that and I am accountable. No question about that.

Again, as earlier mentioned, this is not a poor-me tale of woe. I am probably the luckiest guy in the world. All you have to do is look at the family I was brought into; upper-middle class with a father who believed in hard-work, encouraging those in need,  standing up for what’s right, and a generosity beyond comprehension. He always provided for his wife and three sons with breakfast, lunch and dinner followed by a four-star education as desert.

Then, my mother. You couldn’t have asked for a better mom. Again, hard-working, faithful, talented, and most often she provided the food and the education. If patience is a sign of God’s affection, then God truly loved my mother.

I said the other night at a meeting that I’ve stumbled into more lucky breaks than one can fathom. I fall into a mud-hole and come out smelling like a rose. I thank the fates for that.

I’ve rambled on for a bit now and as always I thank you for reading. And always remember that most of my stories are just floating around in the vortex of emptiness, bumping into one another like invisible bumper cars. Absolutely.



About stevewhitmore

Former award-winning newspaperman and broadcast journalist, both radio and TV, spanning three decades. Army-trained paralegal, court bailiff and prosecutor's lead investigator for the 8th Infantry Division's Judge Advocate General's Corp., Mainz, Germany. 1973-1975.
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One Response to To practice a genuine humility…

  1. Ashok Desai says:

    just a thought…Hmmmm-‘genuine humility’…kinda hard to do that when as a relative newcomer you get an aisle seat saved every Weds……humility comes when we throw away the bonds of entitlement….and Rule 62

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