I'm recording this episode a few days before Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for. For one, listen to my last episode "Get Out of the Car". I am thankful to be here and able to tell the story. It's sobering. If you haven't heard that episode, stop now, and go back! I am thankful for my health, my amazing wife and 5 kids that all love their Daddy. I am thankful that my dad is picking up the pieces and fighting to get his life back after years of addiction. I am thankful that my mom survived Covid and still has years of life left. I am thankful that I had 44 years with my paternal grandparents, Nana and Pop-Pop Carfagno, who co-raised me. They are very responsible for the man, husband, father, and leader that I've become. I am thankful to have 5 siblings that I'm close with and the 2 little boys and girls that call me Uncle Ken. I am thankful for the house we rent with 2 acres and a creek for our kids to play outside. I am thankful for our church and church family that loves and supports. I am thankful for my friends and the relationships that pour into me. If you've listened to this podcast for a while, you've heard me mention those friends by name. I'm thankful for my business and the amount of time I have at home with my family. I am thankful that we are debt-free. I am thankful to have the assurance of a relationship with the Maker of heaven and earth after I pass away. I could go on and on.
I want you to get into a place of gratitude right now. I want you to do the same thing I just did. Get out your journal and write out the people and things you're thankful for. Look at this list. Consider calling or messaging each person and thanking them. Why am I telling you this? I have observed something simple in life lately that I've always had trouble explaining. It's hard to explain in words what pride and humility are. We know that they are opposites, but when pressed for a definition, we cannot find the words. Am I right? Can you explain the meaning of both? I couldn't until now.
We lived in Upstate New York for 16 years. New York had the most spectacular apples and you better believe we were at the orchards every September and October for bags of freshly picked Honeycrisp and Jonagold and Golden Delicious and many more. I'd hoist the younger kids on my shoulders to pick the ripest apple off the top of the tree. They would always bump 8 others and knock them off in the process. Some would hit me in the head, but without fail, my little guy would grab that ripe one and take a bite. Heaven! Can you picture the scene. Imagine an apple tree with a thick trunk, green leaves, and ripe red fruits. We know that it takes years to yield delicious, ripe apples. The orchard owner plants, waters, cultivates, protects, and prunes their trees every season. In fact, the fresher and tastier the fruits, the healthier the roots. We can't see the roots. They are under the soil, but stretch out in all directions from the base of the tree. It's easy to imagine and accept this truth. If the roots are healthy, so are the fruits. And if the roots are damaged or sick, the fruits will either be rotten or none will produce at all.
We are like this too. We are all trees that produce fruit in our lives. I could go into this biblically, but I'll leave that to you. I'll just reference the book of Galatians, Chapter 5. It's the best scriptures on the health of the tree. For the purpose of this podcast, I want to now explain the different between pride and humility in a way that relates to this Apple Tree that I just illustrated. Pride is the root of many sins. These sins are fruits of the roots of pride. Pride yields boasting, envy, jealousy, entitlement, wrath, and many other offenses. If someone is being boastful, you can bet they're struggling with pride. If someone thinks they know everything and they're unwilling to listen to other people they are struggling with pride. Some people don't want to accept help from others, they're likely struggling with pride. I would know because I've been guilty of all three of these scenarios. Examine the fruit on a person's tree. What you hear and see are their fruit and will tell you what their roots look like.
Let's look at the other extreme. Humility is also a root system. It yields different fruits like justice, gratitude, love, respect, joy, peace. If someone is being grateful, you can guarantee they are strong in humility. Just like boasting is the fruit of pride, gratitude is the fruit of humility. A humble person is thankful for the one thing done for them versus the thousands of others that weren't done for them. The prideful and entitled person will overlook the thousands of things that were done for them and be angry at the one thing that wasn't. Pride is too much into self where humility is into others. I challenge you to try something. Do what I recommend in the beginning of this podcast episode. Start proclaiming what and who you are truly grateful for. If your roots are full of pride, it will be hard to do. Yet, at the same time, the act of being grateful will instantly transform those roots of pride into roots of humility. I don't believe it's possible to act in true gratitude and still struggle with pride. When you add gratitude, boasting and all the sins of pride are chased away. This is like the orchard owner watering and pruning his trees. You are doing the same thing for the health of your fruits. Soon, others will be able to pick the ripest fruit off your tree.
Wouldn't our families, our communities, our country be different if more people had a root transfer like this? Do you need someone to talk to about your roots. I'm here. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a free coaching call on my website, Smart Cleaning School.
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