I had a conversation yesterday with a colleague from work that continues to linger with me.
During our small talk, the conversation turned to the topic of our children respectively.
He happens to have a 20-something son who teaches English to executives in Japan. His son also works part-time at a Japanese university where he also teaches English.
When I asked if his son spoke Japanese the father replied, “…not very well…”
He went on to say that when his son goes to the doctor’s office for any particular issue or reason the son must bring a Japanese translator to the physician.
Ironically, most trained and licensed physicians in Japan speak English – but they may not do it very well. Because of the status and esteem that doctors have in that country, they would rather not communicate in English so that they avoid making a mistake.
In the eyes of the physician, that kind of a “mistake” would be devastating for them to endure, embarrass them and somehow diminish their personal perception of status.
The obvious problem is that these individuals have a skill (speaking English), that they paid tutors thousands of dollars to obtain and spent hundreds of hours studying, yet they choose NOT to use it because they’re too embarrassed that they’ll make a mistake.
My friend said, “Why did they even bother to learn English?”
Their pride is crippling them in this regard.
This brief interaction reminded me of the following proverb:
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” ~ Proverbs 11:2
Perhaps each of us might do well with a healthy dose of humility. It seems that humility and a willingness to look foolish results in freedom to learn, which then leads to wisdom.
It’s counter intuitive that pride has this crippling power that and holds us back, while humility has the power to liberate and propels us forward.
Question: How is pride holding you back? Has humility ever given you a sense of freedom?
Photo Credit: Creative Commons – girlwithatrowel