Inspiration Journal

Why ‘This Is Us’ Reminds Humanity What Humility Looks Like

Written by Shelby Spear

When it comes to This Is Us, my typical comment at 10 pm on Tuesday nights is, “I can’t even…” As in, I can’t even express how my heart is feeling. The writers of this show unglue me from beginning to end every.single.week.  If empathetic tears aren’t cascading from my eyes like the great Niagra, then my heartspace is swelling to dangerous levels with feelings of joy, love, and overall fuzziness.

Somehow this show makes you feel whole, even when the experiences and circumstances portrayed on the screen rip your soul apart. How does this happen?

Humility.

This Is Us is a mirror for humanity to peer into week after week, leaving us to walk away saying, “yes, this is us.”

The writers of the show speak the language of “us” with authentic perfection, courage, honesty, and grace:

  • a purposeful and mindful approach for characters to express authentic emotions, especially the men.
  • the courage to be raw and poke a finger into the tough and tender stuff of life.
  • projecting an honest evaluation of what life looks like through the kaleidoscope of our connected, yet unique experiences.
  • Allowing grace to prevail within the interactions between characters, even and especially in the moments of disagreement and strife.

Humanity can use a solid dose of humility these days, which is why I, for one, love this show. I’m reminded every week what real communication looks like, how love triumphs, why struggle is an opportunity for rebirth, and what the underlying truth and purpose of our existence is: relationship.

Last night,

Randall showed humility by respecting the relationship between Deja and her mom, letting go of his own hopes and desires for their greater good.

Jack showed humility by leaning into teenage Randall’s honesty about feeling “off” his entire life and sharing his similar experience after coming home from Vietnam.

Last week,

Rebecca showed humility in respecting Kate’s emotional distance from her as a teen, announcing to her daughter that whenever she was ready to connect in the future, she’d be waiting with open arms. She then followed through on that promise by consoling Kate after the miscarriage.

Kate and Toby both showed humility towards one another as they maneuvered through the agonizing minefield of emotions surrounding the miscarriage—giving space despite their individual pain.

These are just a handful of examples of humility from hundreds that have been acted out over the first season and a half of this brilliant drama.

And perhaps this is why the show is killing it. Humility is a dragon slayer. It evens the playing field, dry erases division, and draws us together into one.

One heartbeat. One soulprint. One blessing…love.

About the author

Shelby Spear

Shelby is a Christian mom to three beautiful knuckleheads who have left her with an empty nest in which to ponder what the mom thing has (done to her) meant over the past twenty-two years. She is working on her first book and you can read her open heart of revelations, screw-ups, gaffs, and joys at http://shelbyspear.com/