“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
There’s a great story about one of my Dad’s good friends who many years ago had purchased a prize bull for which he paid top dollar. The man – who happened to be a very successful pharmacist, businessman, and rancher, but also a notorious braggart –strutted around his drugstore for weeks boasting about his shrewd acquisition; that is until he discovered the bull to be unable to do – well, you know – what bulls are supposed to do. Needless to say, his large ego was completely deflated. To make matters worse my Dad, ever the prankster, wouldn’t let it die, nicknaming his druggist friend old “T-Roy”, which he had to endure the rest of his life.
Haven’t we all blundered like that at least once? In 1985 I made what I thought to be the career decision of a lifetime. And like my Dad’s friend I strutted around for weeks boasting about my shrewd professional move, only to discover that my presumed road to success was in fact a road to nowhere. There I had uprooted my family to move to another city, only to discover it was all a big mistake. At least no one branded me with a ridiculous nickname, something for which I am most grateful.
Some things just don’t turn out the way we expect, and few people I suppose go through life without making errors in judgment from time to time, in spite of the best intentions. While not our proudest moments, those humbling experiences generally prove to be critical lessons that help us grow, succeed, and find fulfillment later on.
The Proverb writer said it best: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” My Dad’s buddy and I both experienced a good dose of that – pride then disgrace, humility then wisdom.
Eventually my career recovered and the pain of that prideful misstep began to fade away. As to the acquisition of that “prize” bull T-Roy, his memory might also have faded into the walls of the old drugstore – except for my Dad who would just never let it die.