Friday, March 23, 2018

It's Hard to be Humble

Mac Davis
In 1980, Mac Davis made it into the top 10 of the country charts with the song Oh Lord, It's Hard to be Humble -- a quaint country tune with a chorus that went like this: (Sing it out loud if you like!)

Oh Lord, It's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way.
I can't wait to look in the mirror 'cause I get better lookin' each day.
To know me is to love me. I must be a hell of a man.
O lord, it's hard to be humble, but I'm doin' the best that I can.

Davis, who grew up in Lubbock, Texas, began his career in the 1960s writing songs for folks like Elvis Presley and Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. Then, in the 70s, as a solo artist, he rose to fame with pop hits like Baby, Don't Get Hooked on MeStop and Smell the Roses and One Hell of a Woman.
Me in the 1970s trying
to look like Mac Davis!

But for me (and others, no doubt) he will be remembered most of all for Hard to be Humble, a song that ironically epitomizes the exact opposite of what it means truly to be humble!

As a therapist, I work with a lot with folks in recovery from drug and alcohol problems, and for them humility is often a hard concept to grasp. Yet, it's of utmost importance -- because being truly humble is about getting off your high horse, recognizing that you’re no better than anyone else, and that you really do need to get some help! This is something, while in the throws of addiction, that's really hard to do. 

Step #1 in most 12-step programs is about recognizing that your life has become unmanageable and that you need to get some help. This is hard to do – at least for a lot of us. We have pretty good sized egos, and generally feel pretty good about ourselves. But at the same time, somewhere in the back of our minds – if we’re honest  with ourselves – we also wonder if we're really as good as we think we are. And therein lies the struggle.

One common description of the addict or alcoholic is that he or she is sort of like “an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.” That is so true!