Humility

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“Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues, hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” ~St. Augustine

Introduction

The true test of a person’s character lies in the person’s humility. Many of the world’s great religions and inspirational ways of life, remind us of the value of being humble. We are reminded of how this quality is necessary for us to be complete human beings. Yet, it is one of the most ignored and minimized virtues of our time.

Humility and a Way of Life

“Higher levels of humility have been associated with a higher sense of life purpose, better (self-reported) health, increased workplace harmony, longer-lasting marriages and greater generosity —all of which contribute to stronger communities.” says Patty Onderko in a Success.com article . See https://www.success.com/do-these-6-things-to-be-more-humble for details. This, logically, should make us seek humility in our lives, as an instrument for greater happiness.

In another article, entitled “Humility and Religious Faith” we find a truly powerful argument for humility. It is as an essential component for living. Refer to http://serenityweb.com/?page_id=80. The author’s argument is that the world’s great religious traditions all recognize humility as one of the essential virtues needed for spiritual growth. The article cites examples in Christianity, Hinduism, in Islam, in Taoist texts and in Confucianism. Here, humility is revered and is seen as supremely important.

The question then to ask is whether we are literally denying ourselves emotional and spiritual happiness. Do we do this by not acknowledging how truly important the character trait, humility is? All this is because humility does not seem to be as glamorous as other human qualities. Why don’t we insist that it is necessary to have this quality in friends and life partners? After all, these are the relationships we can freely choose.

Humility and Leadership

Humility means a leader listening to his/her spiritual conscience when he/she leads. When we are true leaders, we acknowledge that we are the least of our brothers but we are called upon to lead. Because we are serving those we lead. Humility is not weakness. Another Success.com article, “6 Attributes of Healthy Humility” makes another point. It points out that leadership models, like those of Gandhi’s or Martin Luther King Jr’s, of passive resistance might suggest passiveness or weakness. Yet, the author, Mike Ukleja, points out that these leaders’ confidence and self-esteem did not shrink as humility grew. They inspired millions. They moved mountains, https://www.success.com/6-attributes-of-healthy-humility/. “Conversely, pride is an exaggerated sense of self-importance. And it’s typically accompanied by placing ourselves above others.” says the same author.

Humble leaders don’t dictate, they inspire. The author of the post on “Humility and Religious Faith” on serenityweb.com points out that Jesus taught that humble service is essential to leadership. Jesus said, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”

In the same article, http://serenityweb.com/?page_id=80, Lao Tzu’s quote is shared as follows:

“The wise ruler’s desire to be above the people
Means that he must speak from beneath them,
And his desire to be at the head of the people
Means that he must put himself after them.”

Our Choices and their Consequences

What are we truly afraid of? Do we think we look weak because we prioritize humility in ourselves? Will we be laughed at for seeking humble leaders and showing it? What will become of us when we shun vain conversation in our leadership? Let us not forget that there are ancient principles and teachings that require our leaders to bear the heavy mantle of servant leadership. Let us remember that we are humbly submitting ourselves and our leaders to the betterment of future generations. This is a cause far greater than ourselves.

photo of child praying
A child in deep and humble prayer
Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

“The wise ruler’s desire to be above the people
Means that he must speak from beneath them,
And his desire to be at the head of the people
Means that he must put himself after them.”
-Lao Tzu

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8 thoughts on “Humility

    1. I know, cheriewhite. But the idea that so many spiritual traditions revere it was a reminder that humility is so important and we need to bring it back. Glad you like the post. Pet topic of mine:)

      1. Awesome. But you could do it in seperate posts- in chunks. That’d be easier on you and the reader as well, and give them something to look forward to. 🙂

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