“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Matthew 23:12 NIV
My interactions and dealings with coworkers throughout my career is somewhat of a mixed bag.
As expected, our conversations generally find themselves surrounding the aspects of the job and talks of how we can help each other day-to-day.
In those special moments, our talks find us laughing until we’re crying and stumbling into deep and awe-inspiring discussions.
But of course, there have been occasions when I open my mouth, and what comes out doesn’t edify my coworker, cause a belly laugh, nor jumpstart a conversation on the meaning of life.
Instead, those words have a funny way of coming back to give me a bitter taste of humility.
I call this one —
The sit down, be humble work faux pas.
Throughout the different jobs that I’ve held, one of them required me to oversee a group of 25-30+ people everyday. It was my responsibility to make sure they were well taken care of, while also getting them to and from different places in a timely manner.
And of course, the biggest responsibility of them all:
Don’t leave anyone behind.
So fast forward to me being on the job for several months and c r u s h i n g it. At this point in time, I’ve not only met (& exceeded) expectations, but I’ve also made positive strides in my career and feel confident in the work I’m doing.
It was during this time that a coworker of mine, while also shining in her own right, had committed the one mistake that you just don’t do.
She left someone behind.
Now, I could have offered up my support and understanding for her mistake. After all, we’re all human, and mistakes are just a part of life.
But instead, I did the exact opposite.
How could she leave someone?
I mean, for crying out loud, this is our job!
We have to take responsibility for our people and keep track of them.
In that moment, I took it upon myself to publicly highlight her oversight.
In other words, I exalted myself. Which, if you read the scripture from earlier, you know what happens next.
Not even 24 hours later, and 100% of my own doing, I was forced to swallow a dry slice of humble pie.
I left someone behind.
It had n e v e r happened to me before, and I foolishly thought it never would. But it was on that day, mere hours after I’d gotten off my soapbox, that my oversight was publicly highlighted.
I was embarrassingly humbled.
But as the old saying goes, ‘God don’t like ugly’.
So, my ‘L’? Thinking less of others and highly of myself.
My Lesson? To think more of others and less of myself.
That by doing so, I’m sewing a seed of empathy that I will one day reap.