Tim McGraw’s new song, “Humble and Kind”( www.youtube.com/watch?v=awzNHuGqoMc) reminds me of an encounter a few years back: I was sitting at the counter of a pizza place in Naples, Florida waiting to pick up a quick dinner for the kids. I sat and watched the waitress behind the counter, a young lady who had a rather large tattoo on her arm. I sat there thinking, “I wonder if someday she will regret this very noticeable body art.” I was judging this young lady by the single act of getting a tattoo. I decided to engage and started a casual conversation as I waited for my order. What I learned was that she was intelligent, respectful, and charming. She was actually something very different than what I wrongly perceived by a single tattoo. I soon respectfully and inquisitively asked, “Tell me the story of your tat (rather hip lingo for someone of a different generation) and if you think you will ever regret the decision.”
What I learned was that years ago, she had a horrific accident that left a nasty, everlasting scar on her forearm. She was always self-conscious of the scar and it constantly reminded her of a time in her life that she wished she could forget. She decided to cover the scar with a tattoo that would be symbolic of her mother. Her mother, she said, had been her rock, getting her through that hard time in her life. As she wrapped up the quick explanation, she finished with, “I will never regret the decision as it has a lasting meaning to me and has given me a new sense of confidence!”
I better realize now that being judgment free, being humble and kind, has lasting value. The young lady and I went on about our business, with mutual respect and a connection based on learning more about each other and good communication without judgment.
Reflecting on that interaction, I am reminded of the lyrics to Tim McGraw’s song, “Humble and Kind.” I love this song and message found in the lyrics (He also has a book by the same name.)
Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw
You know there’s a light that goes by the front door Don’t forget the keys under the mat Childhood stars shine, always stay humble and kind Go to church cause your momma says to Visit grandpa every chance that you can It won’t be a waste of time Always stay humble and kind.
Reflection – Time spent with elders is never a waste of time. Honor and respect the guidance of elders in your life no matter your age has endless value.
I am blessed to spend weekly dinners with my mom, something we work very hard not to miss. This weekly time is for both of us—it’s a way for me to honor my mother for all she has done for me a nd it gives her something to look forward to each week. We visit about the past and the wonderful memories of her life, family, and of my father, her husband. Despite days when I am not in the mood, I still maintain our “date” and later walk away feeling glad I was there. I wanted to be there for us and I always treasure my time with her. As my dad use to say, “Someday we will not be able to do this!”
And to my family and friends, the light is always on to welcome you. It is never a bother, but rather an honor, to have friends stop in and for family to know they are always welcome.
Hold the door, say please say thank you Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie I know you got mountains to climb but Always stay humble and kind When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you When the work you put in is realized Let yourself feel the pride but Always stay humble and kind.
Reflection – At times when you are feeling insecure, or hurt, it is easy to fall back into self-pity and loose perspective of the power of kindness and grace. I need to remind myself of this as I can revert to not being kind, being overbearing, or acting like a dog with a bone or cause others to feel they must walk on “egg shells” when I am feeling personally hurt or challenged. This kind of snarky or overbearing behavior never ingratiates you to anyone. When I slip, I can only hope and pray that I have built a reservoir for grace and forgiveness to overcome it. The relationship is strong enough to be called on the carpet to remind me what I was doing…sometimes a simple “STOP IT” is all that should be needed. I’ve learned kindness is never wasted and that two of the most powerful phrases are THANK YOU and FORGIVE ME when these phrases are used in a heartfelt, and authentic manner in their use.
The Greeks had words for four different types of love: Eros (romantic love), Phileo (enjoyment, fondness, friendship), Storge (family loyalty), and Agape (unconditional love). Regardless of the type, love provides a foundation for a meaningful life and deep relationships that will carry you through your life, through success and failure. And remaining humble and kind will provide a bedrock enabling you to give to others through selfless acts.
Don’t expect a free ride from no one Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why Bitterness keeps you from flying Always stay humble and kind Know the difference between sleeping with someone And sleeping with someone you loveI love you ain’t no pick-up line so Always stay humble and kind.
Reflection – Life is a precious gift, yet what we do with it is up to us. There are no guarantees in life. We need to work hard, exhibit dedication, take care of ourselves, dress, and carry ourselves with pride, remember to say thank you, work on personal growth and relationships and then maybe we’ll have some good fortune (Luck). “Don’t expect a free ride from no one. Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why, bitterness keeps you from flying.” Bitterness or holding a grudge never brings about anything good. So, practice grace and forgiveness and appreciate that we are all human, we all make mistakes. Love and forgiveness are the bedrock to a healthy and happy life.
When it’s hot, eat a root beer popsicle Shut off the “ac” and roll the windows down Let that summer sun shine Always stay humble and kind Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you When you get where you’re goin’ Don’t forget turn back around Help the next one in line Always stay humble and kind.
Reflection – As a child, I was a lover of root beer popsicles, something I do seldom now, however when I do, it brings levity to life. Having levity and not always being serious is healthy for us as well as those around us. Letting yourself enjoy and embrace life as it is given is critical. Do not hide behind a “window.” Those around you can see in, and the window gives only a false sense of fitting in. Rolling it down allows you to belong and be transparent, a key quality to a meaningful life and relationships.
Taking success and what we are given for granted is unfortunate and results in our inability to fully appreciate the gifts we have been given. We do not succeed alone, we succeed with the help and compassion of others that we bring into our lives. What makes this more meaningful is the willingness to turn around and extend the same gift to those around us. There will always be a “next in line,” and our legacy is not what we have accomplished, but who we have helped behind us. That’s what makes us a more meaningful, purposeful person.
Remember Tim McGraw’s magnificent song and the meaning and substance behind the lyrics and always be Humble and Kind.