Unassuming People

It seems that our news broadcasts are populated with people these days who are overbearing, demanding, and strong in the ability to greatly irritate. They present a view of life that is tailored to their displeasure and temperment. The level of drama in the room goes to the ceiling as soon as they walk in. They are the antagonists, anarchists, and angered.

You’ve probably met some of them, heard them, and tried to avoid them.

The positive thing about overbearing people is that they cause you to appreciate the unassuming folk even more. Those are the people who hesitate to even ask for a glass of water or if they might be allowed to use your bathroom. They are defined as the meek, mild, and humble, but to me they are the ones who understand that the world does not revolve around them. For me, an unassuming person is someone I can sit on a front porch with, sip on ice tea, and enter into a mutual verbal stroll of stories and sharing. Throw a gentle breeze into that scenario and you’ve created my Norman Rockwell dream painting.

As I get older and more unsettled by the unsettling world, I have come to appreciate the unassuming even more. They often live by the motto “Listen before you speak!” In more cases than not, wisdom accompanies them into the room. I don’t feel that it’s necessary to have the same opinion or perspective on a topic as the unassuming and they, likewise, don’t hint at being pulled into my way of thinking.

That doesn’t hold for the overbearing. It’s either their way or the highway. Disagreement means ostracism and some type of labeling…like too conservative, insensitive, out-of-touch, or just plain stupid.

The unassuming include several ingredients from Jesus’ Beatitudes in Matthew 5. He refers to them as blessed and several traits mentioned seem to correlate with the unassuming: meek, merciful, pure in heart, peacemaking. The overbearing missed that chapter in the Book of Life.

This does not mean that the unassuming do not value or strive for justice and avoid conflict. In fact, I would say that the unassuming are more in love with peace, justice, and the respect of people than most others. They are the Mother Teresa’s who was often described as unassuming as she went about her ministry of care and compassion.

Today I will seek to be more like that unassuming person than simply seeking the unassuming. It’s a high calling.

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