Lessons in Humility

The past couple of weeks at work have been lessons in humility for me.  I work in retail and instead of my usual customer service duties, I found myself on a ladder or on the floor complete with rubber gloves and a battery-operated toothbrush!

"No one can come to the knowledge of God except through humility. The way to go up is to go down." (Br. Giles)

Let me explain.  A few months ago, the supervisor of my department had asked me to do some cleaning once a week.  I didn't mind it.  It got me away from my regular job which was a nice break.  Then I was asked if I would be willing to clean all the departments.  "Sure, why not?"  I was handed a stack of pictures of everything that needed to be done.

Workers in the other departments were grateful because they don't always have time to clean.  A couple of them even offered me double my pay to clean their house!  Tempting, but I think I'll pass.

One day I was on the floor scrubbing a particularly nasty, sticky mess, when one of my regular customers spotted me.  "Are you being punished?," He asked.  I laughed and assured him I was not, but he looked a bit skeptical.  When two more of my "regulars" asked the same thing, I started wondering myself.

My supervisor and her supervisor assured me I wasn't.  Both had approached me and asked me if I was okay with what I was doing and made it clear I wasn't being punished.  Good to know!

We have a few people at work who can only handle certain menial jobs.  Mentally they're not capable of doing anything else other then taking out the garbage or sweeping the parking lot.  There it was:  I was seen as "them."  That was part disturbing and part humiliating.

“Let us work. Let us work a lot and work well, without forgetting that prayer is our best weapon. That is why I will never tire of repeating that we have to be contemplative souls in the middle of the world, who try to convert work into prayer.” - St. Josemaria

St. Josemaria' prayer and the Litany of Humility by  Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val helped me bounce back and put a smile on my face.


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Tags: humility

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