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What do you think about me?

By heath - Posted on 01 May 2006

Have you every wondered what people think of you? If you are as egocentric as I am you have probably thought about it many times. Well, I found out just a little this past Friday.

Sitting at the table were me, my wife, the bubbly female hostess, the ironically uptight yet laid-back male host, and Russell. Russell's a "single-again" father of three that inhales oxygen and exhales NFL trivia and stats. Guys like him work for TV networks and supply Troy Aikemen with facts like "The Colts haven't lost a game when they have had first possession and led by over 14 points midway through the third quarter when the opposing team's mascot is a bird." I'd have to say that Russell is one of my favorite people. He is one of the least pretentious people I know. He always has a good time, and he is a rapidly maturing Christian man. If anyone knows a great single gal, he'd love a referral.

Well, Russell offered an impression of our host as he got up to answer the door. It was a very accurate portrayal of our hosts mild disgust with having to exert the effort to go to the door because Russell had knocked instead of just announcing his presence. After our laughter cleared, my wonderful wife asked Russell to "do Heath" to which the female host agreed.

Reluctantly, Russell looked to me for approval, and then gave a slight gesture with his arms and rose uncomfortably in his seat while making a pained smile. The ensuing laughter told me that this must have been a face and gesture I make often.

Now seeing yourself in a short impression is one thing, but to have that impression interpreted is quite another. The comedic act was alluded to later with a larger crowd and an encore was demanded. With my permission, Russell did the move again, but this time offered an interpretation. "Its like he's saying, 'How do I say this without making you feel stupid?"

Ouch, comedy can be a great vehicle for conviction. As hard as a try to suppress my intellectual pride, still, it leaks out through my body language. While I rarely think that people are stupid when I feel the need to correct or argue my point, I do perceive that I am going to come off as making them feel stupid, and I am often very careful to word my comment so as not to impute ignorance or stupidity. Nevertheless, I must fail. How do I avoid this? My guess is that it is somehow rooted in some pride that I have.

No doubt it is the pride that comes from performing, ironically, for a self-constructed god. I suppose the answer to my problem is to stop worshiping intelligence, insight, and wisdom and start worshiping the giver of intelligence, insight, and wisdom.

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It's a wonder it hurts so much, I wonder sometimes to myself when I hear my own words ringing back in my ears to inform me how prideful I have been. However, to borrow CS lewis, the pain is evidence of the Doctor working. I'm grateful the working will hopefully save others (and myself) from my pride....

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