A Lesson in Humility




heartPeople often talk about how life has taught them a lesson when they least expect it.  They are always the recipient of the gift, having their eyes opened or they are turned to a new way of thinking.

This past week at work I was on the other side of that fence. Or so I thought I was until something else dawned on me.

Here is the background story…

I had a couple come to the airport to fly back home.  The gentleman, lets call him John, was in a wheelchair and his wife, lets call her Jane.

It of course was obvious that since John was in a wheelchair he was going to require some extra assistance and I was more than prepared and happy to offer that to him. 

It was not too long ago that I needed extra assistance.  Still, at present I am not the guy I was 3 months ago.  ((I hate stairs now!))

The checkin process was tedious because of the extra preparations and getting things set up to make John as comfortable as possible. 

By the way Jane is standing a little off to the side, trying to be as helpful as possible and at the same time I could tell she was just so exhausted.

Now I do not know what John’s intentions were, what the motivation was ((if he had any)), or if it was just the way he delivered but he had this sense of “entitlement” where as because he was in a wheelchair and required assistance, that everything should stop for him.

Reality check. There are limitations.  There is only so much that can happen.  That is the way life is.

Then he pulls this “card” out…

I have just had heart surgery.

Now that is the wrong card to play at my table.  ((Here is where you play the needle scratching across the record in your head))

Up to this point John looked down on me, he treated me with absolutely no respect.  He completely looked at me and judged me on what he saw.

So I asked him where he had his surgery.  Wanting to know what hospital he was at.

Sure enough the same hospital I was in.  Same floor. Same unit.  Same doctors.

I asked him who his doctors were.  ((There is a large cardio team there))

We share the same doctors.

So I then told him that we shared the same doctors, I told him about staying in the same ward and told him that I had Congestive Heart Failure due to Dilated Cardiomyopathy and LBBB.

Wow did his mood ever change.

Now I got respect. 

It was like I was talking to a completely different person.

Now he started treating me like I was his best friend of 40 years.

So the lesson?

I am hoping that it goes without saying even though I am going to say it here, “don’t judge a book by its cover” but it also warrants saying, “don’t be surprised” who you share a bond with.

Since John and I have the same Doctors I wonder how long it will take for us to run into each other again when we are going for our check-ups?


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About author


turnipHed is the Chief Editor at TURNIPSTYLE, Presenter & Producer of THE VOICE OF TURNIPSTYLE. The lifestyle magazine and podcast for [GBTQ+] Men.

  • readyboy4fun#1

    30 Jun 2011 (Thursday)

    Very well said sir… more people need to learn this lesson in life!!


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