Humble and Kind

Humble and Kind

These past few weeks in my Sacred Art class, we have been exploring music as a part of religious worship and expression. One of our most recent assignments was to go home and find a spiritual song that spoke to us, and then share it with the class and explain why we felt a connection. As an audiophile, I was excited to start this assignment, but I had a harder time than I anticipated finding a song that I felt really spoke to me. Up until the class period itself I was unsure of what song to choose, and then all the sudden it hit me.

The song that I chose was “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw. Now, I know that Tim McGraw is a secular artist, and that song is not overtly religious. But, I felt as though it carried the same strong messages that we talk about every day in school and I hear at church. Each line of the song explores a different rule or code of conduct that we should follow in order to be the best people we can be. Many of those outlined rules can be directly traced back to the Bible, and are as simple as the infamous golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated.

“Hold the door, say please, say thank you. Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie.”

To me, this line exactly resembles the values illustrated by the Ten Commandments. The rules are so basic and simple, but in reality when we follow them the impacts are much deeper. At NDA, we are taught to value integrity, kindness, hard work, perseverance, and respect for others. Catholic or not, these rules should still carry meaning, as they are a framework for how to live a good, just, and virtuous life.

“When it’s hot eat a root beer popsicle. Shut off the AC and roll the windows down. Let that summer sun shine, always stay humble and kind.”

Even these simple lines speak to me on such a deep level. On the surface they may sound meaningless or even cheesy, but I think it’s important to listen to McGraw’s message. He’s telling us to take time to enjoy the simplicities of life and not take for granted these small moments. The times that I feel closest to God are when I am alone in my car on a warm sunny day with the windows rolled down, when I can take the time to enjoy and appreciate His beautiful creation.

One of my all-time favorite lyrics from a song lies in this song I have chosen to write about:

“Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why. Bitterness keeps you from flying, always stay humble and kind.”

Everyone goes through a time in their life where they have been wronged by someone, or maybe they themselves were the ones causing the wrongdoing. As a part of our human nature, events such as these are inevitable. The way we should deal with them is also laid out in the Bible, and in following the footsteps of Jesus Christ we are taught that forgiveness is the answer. Forgiveness is not always easy to do, but from my own personal experience I have realized it always feels better than holding a grudge. It is not always easier to forgive someone than to harbor hate, but in the long run we know that forgiveness is the better path. This is one of the principal teachings of the Catholic church, and one that we at NDA are taught is crucial to becoming a strong woman in the twenty-first century. I will always find deep value in these words.

Not only do I feel this song helps express my religion, but I can see the common themes of other religions within it as well. The three Abrahamic religions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all preach the same core values of putting family and God first and treating those around you in according to a certain ethical and moral code. This song explores all the ways to live a good life by doing simple things to show others you love and respect them. Values such as these are even evident in religions more geared towards self-enlightenment, such as Buddhism. In order to reach Nirvana or enlightenment, one must live a moral life and treat all living creatures with kindness and respect. What I’m trying to say is that the basic ideals of staying “humble and kind” bridge across religions and all of society as a whole, and this can help us to feel connected with others in our daily lives.

These messages that can transcend religions are being lived out right here in our own Notre Dame Academy community. I see it every day when the freshmen in my homeroom bring each other cards on their birthdays, or when a player on the hockey team scores a goal but credits it to the work of the whole line rather than just themselves. Religion is a community, and we are brought together as a community through NDA. This song puts my personal values as well as the values of the school into words, and for that reason I feel a strong spiritual connection to it.