Humility and Hollywood

When we watch movies ridiculous things can happen. For example Tom Cruise can stick a piece of explosive bubble gum on the windshield of a helicopter as he hangs on by a shoestring and the helicopter flies through a tunnel. That piece of gum can then proceed to blow up the helicopter and leave Tom without a scratch (or bleeding eardrums for that matter) flying through the air just fast enough for him to land safely on the trunk of a car going 90 mph.

When we watch a scene like this, most of us will simply choose to ignore the ridiculous nature of the scene for the sake of our entertainment and desire for the protagonist to survive. (My father, by contrast, would scream 'Absurd!' at the top of his lungs and ruin the moment for everyone).

This is called willing suspension of disbelief. That we all be capable of this is necessary for Hollywood to make any money.

I would like to argue that true humility is reached through similar means. When I am in the company of others I tend to talk far to much. This tends to make my wife ashamed of me. Which is acceptable because it is my pride at stake. You see, often when I'm in a crowd I genuinely believe that I am the most interesting person there. So this is what leads me to my diarrhea of the mouth.

The trick to overcome this pride is to willingly suspend my disbelief. I have to choose to believe that someone else in my company is more interesting than I am. (Even though this may be as big of a leap of faith as Tom exploding himself to safety). As I make this step of faith, the hope is that I will find that I really can enjoy what others have to say. In a similar fashion to enjoying a ridiculous scene in a film.

If I get in the habit of this, my thinking will actually change to the point where I no longer think of myself in the crowd. This is a difficult process to begin, but as long as I'm willing to suspend my disbelief I'll be okay in the end, and I'll make my wife happy.

My hope is that my father will never mature and always genuinely believe that I am the most interesting person in any conversation. Even when Tom is at our table.