Opinion: A lesson in humility, courtesy of Donald Trump

Matt Poe

Humility is one of those virtues that has seemingly fallen by the wayside for many of us. Society and our outward portrayal of ourselves is more ‘me-centric’ than ever before, and that’s coming from someone who contributes to it just as much as the next dummy who can log onto social media.

Notice me. Look at me. Like my post. Look at what I’m doing. Notice my accomplishments and all the things I’m doing.  

The ability to show others that we’re doing better than the next person drives us, whether that be old friends, an ex-girlfriend or people you may be trying to one-up for some other reason.

Alert the press, dear reader, because humility’s corpse is in need of a mighty large casket (cue dramatic music).

While this is no breathtaking revelation to anyone who’s been around the last decade or so, I thought a lot about humility this past weekend, and it mostly came in the form of The Great Doofus himself, President Trump (God, I hate typing those words).

The American Health Care Act (AHCA), the shoddy health care legislation proposed by Speaker of the House and spineless blob Paul Ryan, was penned for a vote in Congress this past Thursday. As the day went by, the whispers began to murmur that the Republicans didn’t have the votes, and the vote was then cancelled and rescheduled for Friday.

Finally, Friday came, and those whispers transformed into full-fledged reality. The House had no chance but to cancel the vote with House Republicans attempting to save what little skin was left on this beast of a bill.

What does all this have to do with humility? Patience, dear reader; we’ll arrive there shortly.

As the mushroom cloud began to disperse from the implosion of the AHCA vote, the finger pointing became a widespread epidemic in our nation’s capital. Republicans blaming other Republicans, Republicans blaming Democrats, cats blaming dogs; the whole thing was a damn mess.

Insert President Cheeto, who then fired up those sausage fingers of his and got on the ol’ Twitter, where he blamed virtually everyone involved in the AHCA of its failing: Democrats, the Freedom Caucus (aka the ones who thought the bill was somehow too generous), the Club for Growth and Heritage — which I have no idea what that is, and it’s likely Donnie boy doesn’t either. Finally, he threw one last jab at Ryan, who was likely wallowing in self-pity somewhere.

But not once did the president take any ownership for his role in the AHCA’s failure. No mentions of how he could have done better or anything he may have not done to assure a vote was held.

I’m sure this comes as no surprise to you, because the words humility and Donald Trump go together like the words ham and Band-Aid; they’re not even in the same category, let alone cupboard.

There’s a lot of things we can learn from this president, and I think this past weekend was a great example of it.

The ability to own up to your mistakes in life is one that many of us would rather not learn nor confront. Far too often, we’d prefer to not examine why something went wrong and how we could have handled some situation better or more maturely. Whether that’s at work, at home or with your spouse, it takes a quiet moment of self-reflection to process what went wrong and in turn, come out the other side better for it.

It takes humility to be able to say, “Hey, I screwed up. Here’s why, and here’s how I’m going to learn from it.”

But that requires the admittance of being wrong, and most of us don’t want to do that anymore. To hold you to a standard that our own president can’t even abide by is both sad and ironic. It takes a level of patience that he surely doesn’t have and that most of us do have but would rather not exercise.

Most of us don’t want to own our failures, whatever they may be. Most of us only want to give off the notion of success and that we aren’t capable of any failure or defeat, as if it’s a sign of weakness.

It’s why some don’t get better at their jobs, relationships end and many of us fail to grow as people. Lo and behold, much of that could be resolved with a little elixir called humility.

After the failure of the AHCA (at least for the time being), I saw one popular quote circulating social media that resonated with me: “Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.”

Let that be a lesson to those in Washington and to you and I in our personal and professional lives. Let it be a lesson that becomes a habit.

After all, maybe the craziest lesson here is that we could learn so much from Donald Trump. Who knew? I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong.

Matt Poe is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].