“Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.”
- Proverbs 18:12
Have you ever had to eat crow? I find it terribly distasteful and hard to swallow, don’t you? I recall getting served a platter full during a board meeting several years ago when someone proved I was flat out wrong about something, leaving me no choice except to admit it. I just hate it when that happens! After all, winners are right, losers are wrong; and who wants to be a loser? That’s what I’ve been conditioned to think anyway.
An odd thing happened later that day, though, as I was trying to wash that unsavory taste out of my mouth. An email message popped up on my computer from a fellow board member who had witnessed my confession and thanked me for my comments – that is, for admitting I was wrong. (Gee, it hurts to say those words!) She went on to say something about my being a man of integrity. What? Where did that come from? I wasn’t concerned about integrity; I just wanted to be right! Yet, there I sat red faced picking feathers out of my teeth when this gracious lady handed me an olive branch and an offer of friendship.
It struck me after that episode that perhaps a little crow in our diets might be healthy. What would happen if our political leaders added crow to their menus occasionally? They might not be so polarized. And what about courtrooms? Maybe we wouldn’t find reason to sue each other so much. It wouldn’t hurt to serve some up at the family dinner table either. Wonder what impact that might have on the divorce rate? You see, the other thing I discovered is that you can’t eat crow and talk at the same time – which forces you have to listen.
Now I’ve eaten crow before – more times than I’d like to admit – but I still haven’t developed much of a taste for it. I’m certainly not ready to make a steady diet of it, but maybe it wouldn’t hurt to eat some now and then. The problem is I still have this nagging desire to be right. But the Proverb has something to say about that: “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.”