The sky is not the limit in every situation, no matter what the positive thinkers of the world might say. There are times when it's best to accept your limitations, to know when to back down, to know when you might even be...dare I say it...wrong.
I'm referring to several things that have happened to me this week. I've been working on the edits for my soon-to-be-published travel guide. I'm humbled to see in the line-by-line edits how many mistakes I made while writing that 250-page manuscript. Of course, I was expecting there would be more than there are, so, for that, I'm grateful. But it's good to be confronted with my mistakes. For me, it reminds me that I am a fallable human being, one who should expect to err, one who can see beyond the foibles, one who can hope for humility in her character.
However, I've also had to address some judgment issues I'm having right now. I've noticed a man in one of my e-mail networking groups who continually advertises his books about how to save our culture of marriage. He regularly posts links to his Web site where he's selling his book. On that same Web site, he posts what he calls critical reviews of other books within his topic--books that have sold millions. He's quick to point out where they go wrong. I have grown tired of his posts and have decided that I do not care for this man's work. I have grown as critical as he seems to be.
And then, there is another man who continually posts about his work. He's a book editor and ghost writer. He says he's written more than 30 books and can make yours "a masterpiece." I do not know how he substantiates this claim; it seems a bit of an overstatement to me. Whenever people post on the online groups he's a member of (the ones in which we share membership) about a book of their own, he adds his two cents about how he can do better with what they've already accomplished.
I've just become so annoyed by these kinds of posts that whenever I see these two guy's names now, I immediately delete the e-mail or skip over that post.
Today, I realized I must confront my lack of patience for those who are just trying to get work and sell their products in a free society. I am now left to wonder: what's wrong with me! Where is my humility when it comes to these two gentleman? Who do I think I am?!
I'm sure it's not my place to say anything to these men. Why would they care what I might think? To suggest to them that they not post so often, or not make such outrageous claims would be nothing more than picking a fight. But they continue to annoy me. And, yes, I can ignore their posts, as I've been doing. But they still appear on my screen. My only other step would be to remove myself from the lists they are on with me. But then I miss out on other conversations I might wish to take part in.
So my question for you is this: what do you do when you realize you ARE limited in what you can say and do? Do you think, in these kinds of situations that limitations are a good thing?
(Photo Credit: Jackie Dishner--taken from an open-air viewing car on the Verde Canyon Railroad, Clarkdale, Ariz.)