Humbled On the Street

Kindness Respect


Key Point: The “street” has a good way of giving us (well, at least me) a good kick in the behind from time to time. It helps keep our ego in check and also reminds us that we are one human in the system, no more or less than anyone else.

The other day I was walking home from work on Edmonton’s main downtown avenue. As you’d expect, Edmonton (like any good size city), has its colorful characters on the streets. I was waiting at a crosswalk, and saw a guy struggling to make it across the oncoming intersection. He looked like he might need a hand, or at least assistance keeping an eye out for traffic, as his walk light turned red. Intending to be “Mr. Compassionate,” I asked him, “you need any help sir?” He fiercely stared at me, as I stood before him all decked out in my suit, Italian made briefcase on my side. He then sneered, and matter-of-factly stated, “Who the hell do you think you are? Donald Trump?” Alright, then. Clearly, what was intended as a kind gesture, felt like a condescending put down from his point of view…Hmm… Lesson one learned.

Apparently needing more “street lessons,” the next morning, my wife and I were frantically trying to find a place to park in this crazy, crowded shopping center, so I could run in and get my daily Starbucks Americano. Of course, there was no place to legitimately stop, so I asked Kathleen if she would mind pulling into a loading zone while I ran to get a coffee to-go. As I get out of our car, a woman in a small, black, beat-up older vehicle honks at me. So, with an indignant smirk, I ignore her. She then rolls down her window saying, “sir, that’s a loading zone and you can’t stop there.” Smiling sarcastically, I respond to the interfering, self-righteous busy body… “Are you a cop or something?” To her delight, and my well-deserved surprise, she flashes me her City of Edmonton Police badge and sardonically serves up the following: “As a matter of fact, I am. Would you like to see the lights?” Red faced, I humbly reply, “No ma’am, and we’re moving that car right now.” The detective kindly accepted a coffee from me as we met inside the Starbucks line. We both laughed. Thank goodness she didn’t give me the ticket she would have had every right to serve up… ($300, she noted). Instead, she gifted me a nice dose of humble pie (the whole pie).

Character Moves (For me… If they work for you too, that’s a bonus):

  1. Lorne… Please remind yourself that you are just one; never more or less than any other human on Earth and that the “rules” apply to you, just like everyone else.
  1. Lorne… Be thankful that your street lessons were only mild reminders to be humble, and that a dose of humility is a gift to appreciate. Reflect upon them as a guide to see how long you can go, keeping your ego in check, before you stumble into another, and perhaps sharper “street correction.” Geez, wonderfully embarrassing, (sort of).

Humbled in The Triangle


One Millennial View: If we’re all honest with ourselves, we’re probably guilty of these more often than we’d care to admit. I’d like to come to your defense for the first lesson though. Clearly that guy may have had his own issues. But, we certainly have to be aware of our surroundings and make smart, humble, self-aware choices. Confidence is great, but there’s a fine line between that and looking like a d-bag.

P.S. There’s a reason Tim McGraw’s song “Humble and Kind” just won Video of the Year at the 2016 CMT Music Awards. It resonates. 

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis