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It’s Official: I’m An Idiot

November 13th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

There’s no denying it, my head is not large enough to carry around my giant ego.

Let me explain:

Every time I feel like the world has treated me unfairly, I go on a tirade as to why I am so great, how smart I am, and how no one can possibly fathom what I experience. What a joke, laughable really.

Let me explain again:

I needed groceries. My head was in a snit. I was talking to myself, spewing not niceties under my breath. Cursing until my face was a ripe-vine tomato red as my heart skipped a beat – intermittently palpitating. I made my way over to the grocery store and entered it. I had my tastes fixated on some variation of a rice salad. I moved up toward the ordering counter and placed my order. The gentleman providing on-hand food service clearly heard the order and proceeded to make 3 successive mistakes with the order. He saw that I looked somewhat perplexed and his voice trembled as he apologized. I looked at him plum in the eyes and said “don’t worry about it, I make mistakes all of the time”.

                In a flash he replied “I am so sorry, my 10 year old daughter is at Sick Kids hospital and I have to work”. I quickly felt a sinking feeling plunge to the depths of my stomach. I was speechless. I apologized to him 3 times without a second thought. His voice continued to shake as his arms and hands operated unsteadily. I felt like such a dweeb placing my silly order. I wanted to kick myself in my own arse.

                I walked out of the grocery store thanking my lucky stars while thanking him for breathing life and reality back into me. And just like that, the life experience of another man can completely extinguish the ego, rendering me humbled and grounded.

                What quick lessons did I learn from this encounter?

Let me explain one more time:

1 – The social injustices I perceive to be committed against me really aren’t that bad.

2 – A lot of people face far greater challenges than I currently do.

3 – When we are very concerned about our loved ones, our emotions get rattled and we see a sharp increase in the amount of performed human errors.

4 – As a society we quickly forget about the personal anguishes of others (even during the holidays).

5 – It’s official, I’m an idiot and I have an unjustifiably huge ego.

This sentiment probably won’t last as long as it should, but I needed to share it.

Matthew Polkinghorne

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