Slapped at the Hotel Front Desk

The elusiveness of humility slapped me in the face while I stood at the hotel’s front desk this morning.

I left my key in the room. I’ve done it so often that I’m no longer embarrassed to pick up a new key at the front desk. “Hi, I’m Dan Rockwell. I left my key in the room.”

He smiled and asked, “What room, sir?”I told him and held up my ID. He nodded and reached for a blank key. Then, to my disappointment, he just stood there.

I think I’m patient, but I felt my body language shifting toward, “Hey guy. Get me a freakin’ key. What’s the hold up?”

It had been a three or four seconds and my patience was getting short! At that moment I looked down.

On the counter was the book I’m rereading, “Humilitas!” I was reminded – like never before – that arrogance is impatient. Looking up, I discovered the reason for the delay.

The key making machine was in use. He had a blank key in his hand. He was patiently waiting to serve the knucklehead who left his key in the room.

Arrogance is easily annoyed.

Practicing humility requires reminders.

Reminders:

Arrogance lurks unnoticed in the shadows. You need persistent reminders to keep humility top-of-mind. A book on the front desk reminded me.

  1. Submit to a humility partner. Discuss what humility and arrogance look like. Establish a signal. Maybe a loud throat clearing when they see subtle expressions of arrogance.
  2. Carry a book around with the word ‘humility’ in the title. You don’t even have to read it. Just look at the title.
  3. Put a sticky note on your computer monitor. “Don’t be an arrogant ass!”

What types of reminders might help you practice humility?