The most humbling experience in my life was when I was a young Police Officer in the City of Cincinnati Ohio. On this particular day, I was working overtime as uniformed security at a bustling local nightclub that I cannot for the life of me remember the name of. As I was standing there looking like a cop on the beat is supposed to look I was taken in the scene of the warm summer night. Because of the size of this nightclub and the number of problems it had in the past, there were several Police Officer including Police supervisors working with me that night. We were paired up by twos and my partner, and I was standing about forty yards away just south of the main entrance on the sidewalk. Then I saw a childhood friend, and share small talk, and chit chatted for a few moments to catch up on old times. We said our goodbyes, and she and her friend then turn and headed towards the entrance of the nightclub where there was a long line waiting for them. About 30 minutes later that same childhood friend came back over to where my partner and I were still posted and became very irritated to the point that she almost started to cry. She explained that the doorman of the club had taken her state identification from her and refused to give it back nor let them into the club.
So instead of me investigating the situation and asking questions as I usually do as a crack Police Officer, I put on my best macho man act and tell her and her friend to come with me. I turn and storm over to the doorman of the club and began reading him the riot act. Several Police sergeants were standing there not to mention the people in line waiting to get into the club who could also hear every word of what I was saying to the doorman. And to make matters worse, the doorman would not look me in the eyes as I was giving him a first-class education on how to do his job correctly. This made me even more upset as I was now putting on the best show that I could muster up to impress my supervisors, the crowd and the two pretty ladies that came to me as damsels in distress. Then as I was finishing up my sermon and just as I was stepping down from my well-built bully pulpit the doorman still not looking me in the eyes handed me the ID that my childhood friend has presented to him and said: "Look at It." I took the ID and looked at the ID then turned and looked at my friend and then looked at the ID again and looked at her one more time. My whole countenance fell like a ton of bricks. The ID that she had given the doorman of the club was FAKE. It wasn't even close. In the City of Cincinnati, it is actually a crime to present false ID. So she should have been glad that she wasn't on her way to jail. So I handed the ID back to the doorman and apologized, but there was no way a simple apology would be enough after the tongue lashing I just gave him. I then looked over at my supervisors who witnessed the whole thing, and they were laughing at me. I was too embarrassed to look at the crowd of people who had a front-row seat to my dumb and dumber show. If my looks could kill my childhood friend would have dropped dead right then and there. How could she have done this to me? How could I have fallen for it I thought to myself.
I felt like my life and career were over. Any respect that I had with those supervisors was gone. Any respect that I had for myself was gone. In an instant life had new meaning and it wasn't all good. I was somehow able to limp away front the entrance back over to where my partner was still standing and told him what had just taken place. My childhood friend had nothing to say to me, and I had nothing to say to her. She knew she had just set me up and made me look bad all because she was trying to recover her fake ID. She walked away and I never even said goodbye or looked her way.
Needless to say that at that moment a lot of thoughts were going through my head and my emotions were also riding high. So much so that I probably was feeding into the situation more than I should have been. But you must understand I relied heavily on my reputation as a good, clean cop who played by the rules. What I had just done was way-way out of character for me. Somehow I made it through my shift avoiding any contact with that doorman who I had made looked ten times more professional than me earlier that night. Wounded in my heart of hearts and soul of souls about the whole thing.
After the sting and the pain of the situation had begun to subside, I began to search for answers within myself as to how that all happen. Was it me trying to prove how big and bad I was to what I thought was just a nobody doorman. Or was it the opportunity to score some points with two beautiful girls with hope of maybe getting a date out of it. Was it an opportunity to show off in front of my supervisors or just me allowing my pride to get the best of me. I believe it was all of the above.
"Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the lowly Than to divide the spoil with the proud." Proverbs 16:18-19 KJV
The moral of the story is this. Pride is a killer. I know because a piece of me died that night. Although just by chance that Doorman and I became friends years later. He never brought the citations up again, and neither did I. There are times when we believe in our hearts of hearts that we are one thousand percent right about any given situation but even if we are we should approach the situation as humbly as possible. Why? Because you just never know that you could be dead wrong! Please Follow Me On Social Media @moneyisadefense