A Lesson In Humility

glass with water


A few years ago just when I was going through my divorce episode, one of the first things I had to do was to look for a job. It was kind of hard as I was so used to be self-employed for many years, making decisions on my terms and last but not least, no one to report to but the Income Tax department and myself.

It is said that behaviour reflects the mind. And mind shift was not easy.

I sent out about 60 job applications. No one called back. It was as if my application was lost in the Bermuda Triangle of Job Applications. On top of being a smart, intelligent, pleasant to the eyes, I figured that with all the experience and job skills that I have accumulated over the years will make sense to any Hiring Manager, and that I would be a valuable asset to any company who hire me.

I forgot that it is a very competitive world out there. The world does not owe me a living no matter how smart, intelligent and experience I am. I have to create them on my own. The word “syiok sendiri” (self appreciation) came to mind now.

For days I sat staring at my own resume, wondering where I went wrong. There was no one to turn to at that time. Friends whom I thought were friends no longer came to the house, let alone answered my calls or emails. I was down to my last few hundred dollars. There were two mouths to feed with another 20 odd four-legged, furry, voiceless ones to be fed. House rent, bills….

That was when I decided to tweak my resume to reflect my achievements objectively. I started making phone calls and changed from behaving like a “boss” to someone who was keen to make a comeback, contributing to the world of work. I sent out another 15 or so resumes. 7 came back with invitation for an interview. What a shift that was!

Eventually I managed to secure a job with a training provider earning a humbling amount of salary per month. When that amount used to be a mere cost to a couple of days’ expenditure in my previous household, it was now a one month worth of salary. But, it was a salary nevertheless.

I managed to put The Daughter through her final school years and eventually to college. We travelled lit bit, spent some on good food, clothes and other things. There is an art to learn and unlearn. Both behaviours are difficult, but if you do not reflect and learn from the life’s experience, you will not move forward.

Life was tough, it still is but I will never forget those painful years when I had to feed the furkids rice and sardins, when The Teenager and I had to be content eating roti canai (flat bread) with curry for dinner.

Just a few days ago I read the FB status of a good friend. She said something about a lesson in humility. She advocates among others:

  • Reflecting what life AND God try to tell you
  • Bersangka baik (always think of good things) towards other people – your friends, relatives and clients
  • Appreciate what you have and strive for achieving a better tomorrow

2 Replies to “A Lesson In Humility”

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