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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On Heroes And Being Awesome

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My husband and I recently went to see Brian Regan perform live. If you don't know who Brian Regan is, then I suggest you look into him. (Those words are blue because they are links. Click on them. You're welcome.) He is one of the most hilarious, yet family-friendly, comedians I have ever had the pleasure of listening to.

One of his little bits in this new show had me laughing, but it also got me thinking.

He talks about the time that Captain Sullenberger made an emergency crash-landing of his plane safely into the Hudson River. We would all call him a hero, right? Well, here's what Brian Regan noticed; heroes are not allowed to think they are heroes. That's one of the rules. Someone has to ask if they think they're a hero, and they have to say no. Then they are heroes!

Regan went on to say, "I think it would be okay if he admitted it. 'Captain Sullenberger, do you think you're a hero?' 'Um, YES! Did you see the footage of that plane coming in? You have any idea how hard that was? Keeping the wings level and the nose up at a survivable speed? OF COURSE I AM A HERO!'"

It's funny because it's so true. Why do people have a hard time admitting to greatness? I can understand wanting to remain humble but in some circumstances (such as the one mentioned above) it is such an obvious label for an unmistakable act of amazing skill and quick thinking. I think people should just start owning their awesomeness.

When someone pays you a compliment, instead of hem-hawing around it or making excuses for it, OWN it! Just say thank you as acknowledgment that what they are saying is true. Especially when you know it's true (and you know you know it's true) but just don't want to seem vain about it.

Is there some rule somewhere that you are not allowed to look great? To own an attractive article of clothing? To cook a fabulous meal? To be wonderfully talented at something? To be the best at what you do?

Don't make excuses for your awesomeness. Get out there and OWN IT.


Lori said...

Gerb, you are an amazing mother, and super-talented writer. Own it! :)

Great post. It's hard to own our own little successes sometimes, particularly for me, because I never want to be seen as arrogant or anything like that. One thing that has helped me over the past several years is the recognition that none of our successes and strengths are by our own power...they're achieved through the might and power of the Holy Spirit living within us.

Rebecca said...

Can comedians be heroes? I think so. B.R. is one of mine.

Rachel said...

Gerb, Does this mean I have to go back and delete my comment after you complimented me on Henny Penny's sweater? :)

I don't know why. Accepting compliments is really hard for me and yet when I give a compliment I want to smack someone if they don't say thank you and do what I do......."Oh well, don't look close or you'll see all of my mistakes." :D

I think we all try so hard to strive to be humble that when we're complimented we don't want to come across vain or arrogant so....we 'don't own it'.

Chrissy said...

So, do u own it? when someone compliments you? I think this site is very good.. I like the 4 perspectives' pt. of view... u all are well versed, smart and compassionate folk...so, did that sit well w/you?
those words are true btw...
i know for me its taken years for me to be able to accept a compliment, now I am better at it..

Linn said...

Fabulous post and I am working hard on this--both for me and for an example to my children.

Kara said...

Over the past few weeks, I have spent some time researching manners, on the internet, to prepare for a manners activity we had with the activity days girls. One of the things I read repeatedly was that when someone gives you a compliment you should accepted it graciously. We shouldn't deny it or down play it.

Richard & Natalie said...

What a great post, Gerb.
I actually got a compliment on this when I was in 9th grade. I remember because it impressed me and has stuck out in my mind all these years. A friend had complimented me on something and I said, "Thank You." She continued to tell me that is why she liked me; because I would accept a comment graciously and not make her feel dumb by saying "Nuh-uh" or "No, it's not."
I think that is the thing we need to remember- by not accepting compliments we are putting the other persons opinion down and telling them it is not important. Not exactly the best way to win friends and influence people.

So thanks for the reminder that I need to get back to being that kind of girl in more ways than one.
*Sorry, it is so long. :)

Teachinfourth said...

Does this count for the compliments we give to ourselves?

If so, I'd be rocking!

Sister Pottymouth said...

Brian Regan is fabulous!

And I noticed that too--why do they always say, "No, I'm not a hero"?

I have to work hard to own it. I think a lot of people do.

I'm jealous that you went to see Brian Regan, but I love your post (and you).

Anaise said...

Oh, this opens up so much emotion, and I'd end up writing a waaay too long comment, so I'll just let you know that I appreciate this post.

Gerb said...

Lori- Why, thank you! And I agree, it's not always so easy to practice what I preach but I'm getting much better at it. You, my friend, are a wonderfully descriptive writer who has an excellent eye in photography. Own that.

Bec- He rocks, doesn't he?

Rachel- Yes. Yes, it does.
And you know what? I don't think there's anything vain about recognizing that we are as amazing as God created us to be.

Chrissy- I am the same way. I do much better at accepting compliments now than I did back when I was an awkward teenager. And yes, I'll own that generous compliment. Thank you! And thanks for commenting.

Linn- Exactly! It's amazing how it can become a priority to adapt certain behaviors for our children's benefit, isn't it? But this is a good one.

Kara- Downplaying a compliment is almost like slapping someone in the face, I think. Harsh, but true. If someone has the courage to pay you a compliment then you should have the courage to recognize it as fact and accept it graciously.

Natalie- Amen. I wholeheartedly agree with all of it. And your comments are never too long. I see that as a compliment, actually. So thank you.

T5th- Rock on, then!

Sis. P- He said they were making and audio recording of the show so maybe you could still enjoy it sometime. And I hope you know that I love you, too. ;)

Anaise- It's not always easy, is it? Well, here's something for you... I must say that I look up to you in so many ways. I always have, actually, ever since back-in-the-day. Your strength and ability to do all that you do inspires me. Own it.

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