Why Bother Considering Humility?
Lately, I have been enjoying spring. The warmer weather has me sitting outside in the late afternoons soaking up the sunshine in between intermittent rain showers. The pastel blooms on bushes and trees cause me to pause and take in their beauty while breathing in their sweet scent. Different shades of green contrast with the short lived, yet brilliant colors or red, yellow and purple displayed by tulips, forget me nots, and hyacinths. Birdsong fills the air from dawn to dusk and bees buzz about. In the midst of all this beauty, I am humbled.
Humility Expands Our Awareness
Being in the presence of nature’s beauty is not the only factor that fosters humility in my life. When I spend time with humble people they also have the same effect on me. Keeping company with unassuming and gracious people makes me want to be unassuming and gracious too.
Humble people are modest, calm and have a sane estimation of themselves. They are free from competing for anyone’s attention since they are content with who they are. They have a servant’s attitude and heart, but they are not doormats. They make great teammates, bosses, friends, coworkers, students and members of one’s family.
Narcissism, on the other hand, unlike humility, is problematic. Narcissists are those with over inflated egos. They are conceited, puffed up and more concerned with themselves than others. They lack empathy, and avoid responsibility. They come in all shapes, sizes and are not limited to one gender or another. Everyone has an equal opportunity to be a narcissist. But, humility can liberate us from our inflated view of ourselves.
First off, if we become a little more aware of the simple things in life instead of taking them for granted, our ability toward humility will be heightened while the reins of entitlement will be loosened. For example, nature does not owe its beauty to me, it is simply beautiful and I get to appreciate it for its simple beauty.
Secondly, being willing to defer to another person opens up an opportunity for me to expand my knowledge. When I can admit that I am not an expert, then I can be taught by someone who is.
Finally, when I practice equanimity, humility follows. Throwing a fit because I am inconvenienced by someone or something is a display of a “me-first” attitude. I can understand a two year old’s inability to demonstrate equanimity, but as adults, we certainly are capable.
So why bother considering humility? Humility is a virtue that inspires us to avoid arrogance, admit our shortcomings and practice equanimity. I think humility is definitely worth considering for our wellness as well as for the wellness of those around us.