Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Wise, mature, in control…well that’s not me of course, that’s just a list of qualities I’d like to have that seem to be just over the next hill. Most of what I learn is retro-active. It is like sitting in the back end of a truck watching the world go by then figuring out after it’s passed, just where I’ve been. It took me years but I finally learned that if I ever say the snarky words, “It’s not brain surgery” something very stupid will happen…to me. It is like I’m self humbling by announcing I’m above the situation. These are the moments of my life when my brain isn’t quite functioning that I call “Dame Bramage”. Perhaps I really do need brain surgery.
One of my “Dame Bramage” moments included the time I was asked to cover phones for an hour at the record label where I worked so the receptionist could go to lunch. I said predictably, “Of course I can, it’s not brain surgery.” Yep, I cursed myself before I even got started. First of all the phone lines lit up like a Christmas tree with everyone possible calling at once. Don’t these people eat lunch I thought? Then after several smart alec musicians called using fictitious names I decided to beat them at their own game. The next caller claimed to be from the White House. I told him in a sassy tone, “Oh really, well you’ll have to call back, we’re busy”. Thankfully he did, because it really was The White House and we weren’t really That Busy!
Another teaching “Dame Bramage” moment came when I was asked to take a job typing the Amendments for the House of Representatives in Texas. I had been working at the Capitol that semester when the typing job came open unexpectedly. They hadn’t had time to know the real me and apparently I forgot who the real me was too because I took the job. I thought, “big deal, typing isn’t hard”…well… no, typing without regard for being correct isn’t hard, precise typing is hard. In those days I had to type Amendments to the State Laws on an actual typewriter (without correction)…rot row…, then put it in a machine that made a transparency to project the Amendment on a giant screen for the House members to vote on….double rot row. It all had to be done in seconds before a vote. It was like having your sins broadcast. Every typo was up there for the puzzlement of the Congressmen to try and interpret what it was they were supposed to be voting on. Legislators were hopping out of their chairs like bunnies to run tell me I had just botched their Amendment and had made them look illiterate. That was the year we voted in the Armadillo as the State Mammal. Nobody, including me, is sure that was what we were really supposed to be voting on. The armadillo??, the ugliest creature on Earth??, surely that was an error, but it passed.
There are more than 97 verses in the Holy Bible that mention the word HUMBLE. Proverbs 3:34 “He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble”. Yep, been there, felt that. James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up”. That’s how it should be. Start from a place of humility and there is room to be lifted up. Start from a place of highest ego and it’s a long fall down. Start from a place of an oversized belief in my own brain and it really does need a little spiritual surgery to size it down. Thankfully this dame is finally getting a prescription for change with a little less self inflicted damage. It's never too late if I'll just use my head.