“To bend but not to break… to yield but not capitulate… to have pride but also humility.”
In the film, The Trouble With Angels, Rosalind Russell goes on to say “This has always been my struggle, Sister. Can I be less tolerant of Mary than the Church has been of me?”
Russell is speaking of the character actress Hayley Mills portrays, a student who is hell-bent on breaking all the rules at the parochial boarding school where her father has dumped her, while he carries on with various and sundry women who are in and out of his life.
“To bend but not to break…” Being flexible enough to change if change is warranted. But never relinquishing one’s core values.
“To yield but not capitulate…”Accepting that someone else might be right. Without being a doormat.
“To have pride but also humility…” Standing tall in one’s beliefs. Yet quietly invoking one’s presence while at the back of the room.
I think humility is the most difficult quality humans can strive to acquire.
In our struggle to survive we are always vying for validation. We need to feel that after we are gone our legacy as having lived will continue ad infinitum. Well, at least for a few generations.
Balancing our innate sense of pride while allowing others to have their shining moment is an even greater struggle.
Giving up center stage is a battle we should constantly wage with ourselves. It’s more than likely we will only succeed 10% of the time. I think even priests and nuns, who commit to putting others first, struggle to honor those vows.
When I think of those I love, whether family member or good friend, humility stands out as their most attractive quality.
They never boast of their accomplishments. Rather they are acclaimed by others.
They never suffer the martyr. Rather they move beyond.
They never insist on center stage. Rather they applaud others.
They never openly speak ill of others. Rather they keep their thoughts close.
They never wear their gifts and talents like flashy accessories. Rather they reveal them as needed.
They never hold forth on how to be humble. Rather by example, they teach.
…i’m still learning…