Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Lesson on Humility

I was quite excited about the long weekend because I was celebrating the tenth anniversary of my 25th birthday. My friends encouraged me to celebrate since there was a lot to be thankful for. I had three separate home parties (that means I cooked!). The first one was planned by my Mom and Tita. It was held at my parents' house and was no different from the childhood birthday parties I had (sans the balloons). I even blew the candles with both my parents beside me (my choice!). The other two was just done at home with some childhood friends and I'm glad they liked my cooking.

One thing though marred my special day. As we were about to leave for my parents' house we heard a car horn honking like mad. The hubby went out to check it out. I wondered why he was taking so long so I went out to investigate who arrived. As I peeked out of the door the guy in the green car (he was the one honking madly) started to scream at me. Apparently he was upset that our guest (who was picking us up) somehow double parked the car (but the road was still passable, I don't drive all that well but I would've managed to get through).

During this time the hubby was moving the car behind another neighbor's vehicle. I apologized to the guy, but he kept on ranting and kept on saying, "I don't f--king care if your guests just arrived and are about to leave! Hindi ganyan mambastos ng kapitbahay, mga bagong salta lang kayo dito!" I just kept apologizing to him continuously, but he was in a rage and I didn't bother explaining that I've lived in the same village since birth. I waited for Jay to come back inside our house and the guy just kept on hurling insults at us. I just said one final apology and closed the door.

What happened hurt and I was shaking until about an hour after. To experience so much rage from someone we don't know was truly a scary experience and I wondered why I had to experience it on my birthday. When we got to my parents' house I immediately relayed to my parents and my Mom's friends what happened. I also told them that I was worried what may happen the next two days since I was expecting guests. My Tita immediately called the village security officer and requested for them to be around our place for the next two days (she's the village association president so it would be a big headache for her if anything else happened). That's what helped me calm down a bit and I soon managed to enjoy the party.

I still wondered though why it happened. The answer came during the homily the next day where our guest priest talked about humility. He said that being humble doesn't only mean not being a show-off. It's not only a test of character when you receive praise. Showing humility in times of trouble. The most powerful word, which should be the last word, during fights is an apology. The totally wrecked my mindset since I was really indignant about the incident. We weren't at fault and I thought he shouldn't have made a mountain about a mole hill. I wanted to find the neighbor. I wanted to talk it out or something just to get the bad feeling off my chest.

It took about 24 hours before the sermon sank in and as the priest said, "Humility is one of the hardest and most painful values to learn. Be thankful when God reminds you about it." It was a painful experience, but I'm glad we just held on and did not fight fire with fire. It would have just probably created a bigger mess. We always wondered as well why our neighbors don't seem to know each other (unlike in the street where I used to live, about 7 streets away). It was truly a painful experience to be berated by someone you don't know. Much less to be scolded by a mistake that isn't yours.

I thought I'd blog about it to get it totally out of my system and to be a reminder of the lesson on humility I received on my birthday.

And here's a song for my neighbor:


  1. My gosh, I don't know what is wrong with neighbors these days! :( One time, I temporarily parked my car in their spot (I live in a midrise compound) because there was a bit of construction in my spot. From the third floor, one of my neighbors started yelling at me, saying their son is about to come home and needs his parking space. I told them it's only for five minutes, or until the construction clears up but they wouldn't stop yelling.

    I left them quietly, much to their chagrin. After 5 minutes, I removed my car from their spot and moved to mine. If they ever had a heart attack, it's not my fault.

    It's a great act of humility, indeed {as for me I was just being smug hehe}. You're a much better person than they are, Aileen. :) Happy Birthday!

  2. Belated Happy Birthday, Aileen!

    Nakakatakot naman ang neighbor mo. Baka naman mainit ang ulo niya yung day na yon and kung baga last straw na yung "naharang" yung daan niya pauwi. It's not an excuse though to yell at neighbors.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing the humility sermon, it's one thing that I really need to improve on. :)

    Take care.

  3. There will always be people like that. It was good you never argued with your neighbor. You never argue with a person who's already "emotionally disturbed." Just say "I'm sorry" then keep your mouth shut. One of the truest sense of becoming humble is to treat him the opposite. Even if he did something horrible to you, be always a friendly neighbor. Don't be that person that you loathe because in the end, he'll consider you what you considered him before, isn't it?

  4. @Teeyah minsan talaga mga tao masyadong "hot". Our next door neighbor parked his car on our driveway just as we were about to leave. We just waited awhile for him to leave and it wasn't a problem.

    @Sunshi haaay, I just hope I don't encounter him anymore.

    @Raphael I agree. It was my first time to get yelled at by a neighbor, to think I even smiled at him when I saw him. Haha.

  5. True. Any other way than humility may provoke, prolong and cause unexpected ramifications. In times like these, I pray for two things: for the safety against the person in rage, and for the person that they may realize their lack of humility and practice it.

  6. Had a neighbor.She was cursing and cussing her younger sister like there was no tommorow. may kasama pang banging of pots and pans. Ginagawa na nya yan for mga 6 months na. she does that. anytime she wants to do it like almost everyday. One night I said, enough is enough. to cut the story. Nagwala sya when I nicely told her to stop. pinabarangay ko that night walang nangyari and nagpetition ako from homeowners association that she be ejected. Ayun narealize nya na she was the one who is different. the group decided that we should be forgiving each other since we are neighbors. So we ask apology from her (she rejected it pa!!! Thick faced people think sila yung nasa lugar, hehehe) pero she wasn't apologetic at all.
    Anyways she reluctantly agreed na if she does it again. the association will take action na. Wala pang 2 months. that neighbor renter left out community for good. Good luck to her! hehehee. that was really was a test of patience and humulity for me and my wife Beng.

    -ting v.

  7. silent follower9:06 AM

    hi ms aileen, thanks for sharing it kase it happens anywhere anytime. sana palagi kong maalala ang blog mo para di ko patulan ang mga ganyang klaseng tao :-)