How Important is Humility?

mocha momentsA class at Harvard College was asked to describe the most humble person they knew. One characteristic stood out: They had a high level of self esteem. They knew who they were, and they felt good about who they were.

In an article discussing humility on the site – The Art of Manliness – by Brett and Kay McKay they share this:

Humility-quote-image-2014The definition of humility need not include timidity or becoming a wallflower. Instead, humility simply requires a man to think of his abilities and his actions as no greater, and no lesser, than they really are. Real humility then mandates that a man knows and is completely honest with himself. He honestly assesses what are, and to what magnitude he possess talents and gifts, struggles and weaknesses.

Humility is the absence of pride. We are taught to think pride is a good thing. But pride functions only when comparing others to yourself. Don’t base your self-worth on how you stack up to others. Instead, focus on yourself and how you can improve.

The point is that each person’s pride is in competition with everyone else’s pride. It is because I wanted to be the big noise at the party that I am so annoyed at someone else being the big noise. Two of a trade never agree.Now what you want to get clear is that Pride is essentially competitive-is competitive by its very nature-while the other vices are competitive only, so to speak, by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking, there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone – C.S.Lewis

People who are physically abusive, use words as a weapon and act in an arrogant or demeaning manner to others are sometimes viewed as being strong. As not caring what others think about them. These are the bullies of the world…the recalcitrants…

But their behaviour is a symptom of a LACK of self esteem. They need to put someone else down, in order to feel good.

You can only be humble if you really feel good about yourself. Once you’re feeling good about yourself you will want to influence others to feel good about themselves too!


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