humility 2

True humility is contentment.

Henri Amiel


I believe that the first test of a truly great person is his or her humility.  I do not mean by humility, doubt of his or her own powers.  But really great people have a curious feeling that the greatness is not in them, but through them.  And they see something divine in every other person.

John Ruskin


Sense shines with a double luster when it is set in humility.  An able person and yet humble person is a jewel worth a kingdom.

William Penn


There is no true and constant gentleness without humility.  While we are so fond of ourselves, we are easily offended with others.  Let us be persuaded that nothing is due to us, and then nothing will disturb us.  Let us often think of our own infirmities, and we will become indulgent towards those of others.

François Fenelon

Humility is the most difficult of all virtues to achieve; nothing dies harder than the desire to think well of self.

T.S. Eliot


If thou desire the love of God and people, be humble, for the proud heart, as it loves none but itself, is beloved of none but itself.  Humility enforces where neither virtue, nor strength, nor reason can prevail.

Francis Quarles


Humility is strong--not bold; quiet--not speechless;
sure--not arrogant.

Estelle Smith


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It is vain to gather virtues without humility, for the spirit of
God delighteth to dwell in the hearts of the humble.



A fault which humbles a person is of more use to him or her
than a good action which puffs him or her up.

Woodrow Wilson


True humility is intelligent self-respect which keeps us
from thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves.
It makes us mindful of the nobility God meant us
to have.  Yet it makes us modest by reminding us
how far we have come short of what we can be.

Ralph W. Sockman


Be humble and you will remain entire.
The sages do not display themselves, therefore they shine.
They do not approve themselves, therefore they are noted.
They do not praise themselves, therefore they have merit.
They do not glory in themselves, therefore they excel.



In humility alone lies true greatness, and knowledge and wisdom
are profitable only in so far as our lives are governed by them.

Nicholas of Cusa


Humility does not mean false modesty.  Humility does not mean taking
a back seat.  When you take a back seat consciously and deliberately in
order to show others how humble you are, you are
not being humble at all.
   False humility is what slaves show to their masters.  Slaves know that
if they do not obey their masters blindly, if they do not show this kind
of outer humility, the master will punish them.
   True humility is something totally different; it is the feeling of oneness.
Humility means giving joy to others.  Here on earth we want to get joy.
But how do we get joy?  Real joy we get from self-giving, not by possessing
or by showing our own supremacy.  When we allow others to get joy, then
we feel that our joy is more complete, more perfect, more divine.  By
making others feel that they are either equally important
or more important, we show our true humility.

Sri Chinmoy

humility 2


It is better to have but little knowledge with humility and understanding,
than great learning which might make you proud.  For a person's merits are not
to be estimated by having many visions, or by knowledge of the bible, or by
being placed in a higher position; but by being grounded in true humility,
and by seeking always, purely, and entirely, the honor of God.

Thomas a Kempis


Professions of humility are the very cream, the very essence of pride;
the really humble person wishes to be, and not to appear so.
Humility is timorous, and starts at her shadow; and so delicate
that if she hears her name pronounced it endangers her existence.

Francis de Sales


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We have learned about true humility.  To be humble is to surrender, to
give up trying to change people or circumstances, to give up trying to
force our will upon others.  Humility is being quiet, being at rest, and
being confident that God is present in every situation.
Humility is being at peace, always.



Suffer me never to think that I have knowledge enough to need no teaching,
wisdom enough to need no correction, talents enough to need no grace,
goodness enough to need no progress, humility enough to need no
repentance, devotion enough to need no quickening, strength sufficient
without Your spirit; lest, standing still, I fall back for evermore.

Eric Milner-White


Humble people can do great things with uncommon perfection
because they are no longer concerned about their own interests
and their own reputation, and therefore they no longer need
to waste their efforts in defending them.

Thomas Merton


Nothing is in vain or without profit to the humble soul:  like the bee,
it takes its honey from the bitter herbs; it stands always in a state
of divine growth, and everything that falls upon it is a dew of Heaven to it.

William Law

Humility is not weakness; it is the epitome of strength.
Humility moves a person away from human, personal weakness
and limitation into divine expression, strength, and expansion.

Donald Curtis


The most powerful weapon to conquer evil is humility.
For evil does not know how to employ it,
nor does it know how to defend itself against it.

Vincent de Paul

Never take a leaf or move a pebble without asking permission.  Always ask
permission.  That maintains the balance and teaches humility.  That leaf you
want to pluck could be far more important than the little purpose
you have in mind.  You don't know--so ask permission first.

Don José Matsuwa

Would you be a pilgrim on the road to Love?
The first condition is that you make yourself as
humble as dust and ashes.

Ansari of Herat


Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights.

Henry David Thoreau

With humility comes the willingness to stop trying to control or change
other people or life situations or events ostensibly "for their own good."
To be a committed spiritual seeker, it is necessary to relinquish the desire
to be "right" or of imaginary value to society.  In fact, nobody's ego or
belief systems are of any value to society at all.  The world is neither good
nor bad nor defective, nor is it in need of help or modification because
its appearance is only a projection of one's own mind.  No such world exists.

David R. Hawkins

When humility enters our souls, we are at last able
to perceive that we do not live alone in the world
but with millions of brothers and sisters, and that hidden
in the heart of each is the same animating spirit.

U.S. Anderson


When you practice humility, you want to become as accomplished and
evolved as you can possibly be, yet you are willing to submit to the
expertise of others to do so. You understand the scope of your aptitudes
yet you choose to eradicate arrogance from your attitude, and you can
distinguish the value you possess as an individual while still acting in the interests
of your fellow human beings. Humility, simply put, is a form of balance
in which you can celebrate your own worth while sincerely believing
that every other person on the planet is just as worthy as you.


Articles and book excerpts on humility:

It's a Mistake!      tom walsh


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These are a few of the ways we can practice humility:  Speak as little as possible
of oneself.  Mind one's own business.  Avoid curiosity.  Do not want to manage
other people's affairs.  Accept contradiction and correction cheerfully.  Pass
over mistakes of others.  Accept blame when innocent.  Yield to the will of others.
Accept insults and injuries.  Accept being slighted, forgotten, and disliked.  Be
kind and gentle even under provocation.  Do not seek to be specially loved and
admired.  Never stand on one's dignity.  Yield in discussion even
though one is right.  Choose always the hardest.

Mother Teresa

No one will learn anything at all, unless one first will learn humility.

Owen Meredith

When we consider the incidents of former days, and perceive, while
reviewing the long line of causes, how the most important events of
our lives originated in the most trifling circumstances; how the beginning
of our greatest happiness or greatest misery is to be attributed to a delay,
to an accident, to a mistake; we learn a lesson of profound humility.

Arthur Helps
Thoughts in the Cloister and the Crowd


Humility is not self-deprecation.  To believe that you have no worth, or were
created somehow flawed or incompetent, can be foolish.  It is knowing you
were created with special talents and abilities to share with the world; but
it can also be an understanding that you are one of many souls created by
God, and each has an important role to play in life.  Humility is knowing you
are smart, but not all-knowing.  It is accepting that you have personal power,
but are not omnipotent.  The unseen--the beauty that exists as potential in
each of us--is what makes us alive.  If we don't believe we're alive with
inner potential, we may not be progressive in our life. . . . Humility can be a
strength that serves well; it leaves us more open to learn from others and
refrains from seeing issues and people only in blacks and whites.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life


True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit;
it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us.

Tryon Edwards

Fullness of knowledge always and necessarily means some understanding
of the depths of our ignorance and that is always conducive
to both humility and reverence.

Robert A. Milikan


Humility leads to strength and not to weakness.  It is the highest form
of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them.

John J. McCloy


humility 2

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