Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Relationships & Hummingbirds In Disguise


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Yesterday evening, as we were finishing dinner and I was looking into our backyard, I remarked to my wife, "There's that dark hummingbird again." We had seen it on Saturday afternoon flitting around the flowers my wife has grown to make our yard beautiful.

My wife's response was this: "I don't think it is a hummingbird."

As I watched it on Saturday, it didn't act like the other hummingbirds we normally observe in our backyard: It's movements weren't as precise as I had seen before (I assumed it was the strong wind blowing that day), it didn't seem to be flapping its wings as quickly as other hummingbirds (I thought it might be injured), and it ignored our popular hummingbird feeder. Plus the color was all wrong.

But the size was right, the long beak was there, and it was sipping nectar from the flowers. My conclusion: A new hummingbird was visiting us.

In my opinion, the hummingbird in question was back, and once again acting almost like a hummingbird... but not quite.

But my wife had already weighed in: She didn't think it was a hummingbird.

I have learned three things when challenged about observations I make:
  • I am not always right.
  • Someone else may carry more knowledge than me.
  • Some things are not worth disputing.
The older I get, the more I realize that I have a tendency to be incorrect. This has caused me to contain my opinions more. As a younger man, my inflated ego motivated me to speak more often than I should have. I am learning to take the role of humility.

The wiser I get, the more I understand. Part of that understanding is realizing that my scope of expertise is greatly limited, and other's expertise is to be highly valued. My wife is a birder, and I am not. I am learning to appreciate that other's strengths may complement my weakness.

The more mature I become, the more I value what is right over who is right. My relationships are worth more to me than one-upping those who disagree with me. I would much rather build on my relationships with love than to erode them with pride.

At this point I will not seek to preserve my dignity or my manhood by declaring that deep down I know I am right, or seek to keep my standing among my male peers by stating don't argue with the wife if you know what's good for you.

Rather, allow me to profess that I don't have all the answers, my wife is the love of my life, and that is enough for this simple man.

Question: As you grow older, what have you realized about life and relationships? Share your thoughts below in comments.

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