Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Humble, thy name is Edmund


This past week, I said "damn you, Southern Hemisphere winter" and I exchanged my over-sized coat and chilly air for flip-flops and some sunshine as I headed to the far north of Australia to the state of Queensland. In January, I was fortunate enough to earn a spot on a work trip in which we were able to spend time working in the local indigenous community, while also taking part in a personal development program for a week.

In the personal development program, we went through a series of exercises, one of which was an assessment of 250 or so questions that would be used to show us our top five character strengths. All of my top traits ranked equally at 4.8 out of 5 and they were: humor, honesty, social intelligence, perspective and the most confusing of all, humility.


(Sorting out a playground for the local community with my project team.)

In the description of "humility" it said, "of all the potential 25 results, humility is the one that is most rarely found as a key strength and should truly be appreciated." However, there is an issue. How can I brag about being humble without therefore negating my ability to be humble? It places me in a weird position. Do I keep my humility to myself and wait for the day in which someone calls me "humble" and then blurt out, "OMG - I know! I took an in-depth personal assessment and it told me that I am and that I am rare and special!" or do I just let it go?


(A koala humbling eating some eucalyptus.)

After spending days pondering my humble nature, the program ended and I decided to stick around the area for a few days and explore the Great Barrier Reef. This was my third time going and, with good reason. The previous two times, I vomited like a high schooler who had had one too many wine coolers underneath the football bleachers and I longed to prove to myself that it wouldn't happen again. Long story, short - I failed. The waves on the way out were insane. As the boat swung and swayed in the water, my face turned a whiter shade of Caucasian and I was sweating more than a hooker in church. I tried to maintain my composure but as the moment finally arrived, I ran to the toilet and re-enacted a scene from "The Exorcist" with sheer perfection.

Once I wiped my mouth clean on my jacket, I decided that I had to get in the water. By this time, the rain had kicked in hardcore but I begrudgingly put on my wetsuit. It was so tight that when I went to zip it up, along came the leftover remnants of blueberry muffin and dignity that still remained in my stomach. The trip was epic(ly horrific). From swollen, teary eyes to breath that could kill a dragon, I was over it. Nonetheless, I digress. I am grateful for the experience (I laughed, I cried, I vomited, I cried, I drooled, I vomited, I vomited again) but I have vowed that I shall never see the Great Barrier Reef again. So, goodbye reef - I humbly bid you adieu.


(A view from the sky of Hastings Reef in the Great Barrier Reef.)

Want to inject a little humor (it is one of my top traits, after all) into your life? Check out my first ever book here!



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