My Lesson in Humility


I did it again.

I went to toss my dirty clothes into the washer – but found the door closed.

This could mean only one thing. Obviously, someone had forgotten to unload it, and whatever was in there had undoubtedly been marinating for countless hours.

So I dumped my clothes into the hamper and restarted the previous load.

No big deal.

But it was a big deal because this habit of loading the washer then forgetting to unload it is one of my many flaws.  We all make mistakes but then there are the mistakes that we make with such astounding regularity that they come to define who we are.

But oh well..

I shrugged it off and went out to cut the lawn. Since we have a very large lawn, it was four hours before I returned to the house and…


I did it again.  I forgot about the wash.

A house rule mandates that clothes left soaking for over three hours must be rewashed. So I started the washer yet again.

It was humiliating.

Which brings me to the subject of humility. I am not sure why humility has to be so humiliating. I mean, why must the humble suffer humiliation? One would think that God and nature in all their perfect wisdom would prefer to loft the bitter arrows of humility toward the pretensions of the elite – rather than allow their fire to rain down those who aspire to nothing at all.

Like me.

Why, I ask, am I in need of repeated lessons in humility when all I want out of life is to be left alone to eek out my hum-drum existence in obscure peace?

Of all the mysteries of life, this is perhaps the greatest.  At least for me.

Later that evening, my wife returned from doing whatever she was doing all day and shortly thereafter called me into the laundry room.

“How long have these clothes been in the washer?”


To avoid admitting my faults, I fell back on misdirection.

“What clothes?”

“Your clothes.”

Then it struck me.

“Hey! My clothes are in the hamper. It must be your clothes in the washer. It is you who forgot to dry them. I guess I am not the only one who does that, huh? And I had to rewash them!”

She looked puzzled for about three seconds, then reached down and popped open the washer door. The washer was empty.

“How did that happen?” she asked.


I suddenly realized how it had happened. I must have closed the door earlier in the day while rummaging around in the storage area alongside the washer then forgotten about it.

So I ran three cycles on an empty washer.

Now, THAT is humiliating.

But sharing the knowledge would be more so.

“I dunno,” I told her.

%d bloggers like this: