What person among us is perfect? Who is flawless? Who is an expert and can do everything perfectly every single time? What person is always full of grace, and never gets flustered or intimidated? Who in this world never makes a mistake? NOBODY!!
If we could just understand that we are all people who are not perfect, then it seems like we would all get along better in this world. Criticism of others has become the normal thing. Why? We all make mistakes, and we all have disabilities. Regardless of how we strive to be perfect, we often stumble. We are not flawless. We make mistakes. Nobody is perfect.
Uncle Wilbur used to pride himself on his impeccable grammar and use of the English language. Yet, in reading the columns he wrote, I have found that he sometimes made mistakes in his writings, too. (If you happen to meet him at the pearly gates, please don’t tell him I said this.)
It is important for all of us to own up to our shortcomings and recognize that we have not attained perfection, and that we must never stop learning, growing, and reaching for goals. We must not be ashamed to ask questions or seek guidance from those who are able to help.
In one of Uncle Wilbur’s articles I just read, he had some important words of wisdom regarding this very thing. He spoke of his readers as his “fans,” and wrote, “One fan said he was afraid to approach me lest he make a grammatical mistake.
“Let me say to myself and all of you that the only way to get rid of our ignorance (and we all have a supply) is to expose it. It would be interesting to know how many people have died because they were ashamed to tell the doctor what caused their trouble. One of my acquaintances was a diabetic, and trimmed a corn into a blood vessel below the corn. Infection got into it and he tried to keep from the doctor the knowledge that he had cut himself.”
Intimidation is common among us. We are easily intimidated by people we feel are more knowledgeable, authoritative, better looking, more popular or famous, or seem to be more refined. Yet, they are people, too. They are not infallible. As the saying goes, “They put their pants on one leg at a time just like you do.”
This reminds me of a story I read about a woman who went into a drug store to get an ice cream cone, and saw Paul Newman there. He got in line right behind her, and she tried to remain cool and calm. She ordered her ice cream and paid for it, and then left the store. When she got outside, she realized she had walked out without her ice cream cone; so she went back to the counter to look for it. It was not in the rack where she expected to find it. She turned around and faced Paul Newman, who said to her, “If you are looking for your ice cream cone, you put it in your purse.”
Aren’t you glad that didn’t happen to you?
— My love to all,
• • •
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”
— James 3:13