“Hayyy,” I sighed in resignation after burning a cup of milk. I lost count already as to the number of mishaps I’ve done recently while doing simple homemaking stuff. Who would have thought that you couldn’t heat up milk using an electric water kettle? This is just one of the many this month.
Some people have told me, “Wow Mitzi, you are so galing” because they see me on TV or read about me in news articles. But the truth is, I don’t feel that way. I struggle in many things that are quite easy for others to do; tasks that even little girls could do. I may be able to manage a business, but I can’t seem to manage a house. My home management IQ, and maybe basic survival skills, is close to zero.
Everyone I have talked to seem to know how to clean the different parts of the house, even in theory. But I can’t differentiate the manner of cleaning the tables, from the floor, or from any other surface. I treat everything like a plate… you wash them with soapy dishwashing liquid and clean them with water afterwards. As long as it is squeaky, sparkly clean that you can leave to dry, I’m happy.
And so today, while troubleshooting and painstakingly cleaning the kettle, here are some of my realizations:
1. Our weakness can empower others.
Recently, a friend confessed to me that she feels a bit sad when everybody seems to be living their own lives and does not need her anymore. Truth be told, her family needs her; I need her. However, many times we hide our weakness for fear of being judged or ridiculed. (I had to think twice whether or not I would post about my cleaning and cooking failures because they were really embarrassing, but ‘what the hey, just do it.’) I realize sharing our weakness provides other people the opportunity to utilize their strengths to help us. Not only will the task be done more efficiently and effectively (but of course not all help is task based), the process of helping builds trust and strengthens the relationship (read about the Benjamin Franklin effect.) When you provide other people the opportunity to use their strengths, you makes them feel empowered, valued, and happy.
2. If I could learn how to pinch salt, I can learn anything.
We can learn anything; that is, if the person teaching teaches like my friend Judy. Just last year, I couldn’t cook eggs even if my life were to depend on it. (Nowadays, the perfect sunny side up egg is still a hit or miss thing, but at least the seasoning is palatable.) Part of the process is to add a pinch of salt; how do you even do that? You can pinch salt in multiple ways, and that was what I did.. sometimes the eggs would taste too eggy, other times too salty. I could never do the perfect pinch. The exact process of pinching salt was never taught to me in classes nor in cooking shows, people just expect you to know. Judy showed me so clearly through a video she took of herself exactly which part of which fingers should touch the salt, and where the salt should primarily be sprinkled. If simple tasks can be made into smaller, clearer bite-sized steps like how Judy did, we can learn anything we want.
3. Our weaknesses can keep us from falling.
This may sound counterintuitive because what we normally experience is that our weaknesses cause much of our failures and stresses, right? After my recent interview for a local news channel, some of my loved ones have reminded me to always keep my feet on the ground. Whether in fables like ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’, or in the Bible (King Hezekiah showing off his riches), or in real life (maybe you know someone), pride almost always leads to a traumatic downfall. This downfall is usually a longer lasting and more painful suffering than the momentary hassles of our weaknesses. Our weaknesses can be frustrating, but they also keep us humble. This humility enables us to respect others, and learn from them who many times can be better than us.
I have often mentioned how important it is to utilize our strengths or gifting to bless other people. When we become a good steward of our gifts, God multiplies them and also enlarges our borders. Today, I encourage you to also showcase your weaknesses; be real and authentic in an instagram-filtered world. Both the strengths and the weaknesses are needed for communities to grow stronger and thrive.