September 12

Today's quotation:

Humility is the world's antidote to self-righteousness.  Self-righteousness is the disease that assumes that if I say so, it must be so and if I want it, I ought to have it.  A lot of wars, domestic and otherwise, could be prevented with the slightest touch of humility.

Joan Chittister
Seeing with Our Souls

Today's Meditation:

I keep trying to practice humility, but I'm never sure if I get it right.  There's just too much self involved, too much of the me who wants to take credit for things, who wants other people to notice his accomplishments, who feels that what he says is very important all the time and should be heeded.  I think that over the years, that part of me has lessened its influence, but it's definitely still there, still a part of who I am.  I don't know if I qualify as self-righteous, but I also don't know if I qualify as humble.

Just look at the benefits that humility can bring us.  We can have less conflict in our lives, fewer arguments and disagreements, if we were just to be a bit more humble a bit more often--and probably a bit more sincerely.  Humility cloaks us in authenticity, for the humble person has no need or desire to be someone else or to put anyone else down for any reason.  When we're not concerned with showing the world just how great we are, then we're free to simply be ourselves and to respect ourselves.  And when we respect ourselves, we have no need to try to make others think more of us.

There's no need to put ourselves down in order to be humble.  Some of the strongest people I've ever known have been incredibly humble, so their strength was something that they didn't need to show off.  When you meet people like this, they share a common strength that doesn't need any words to call attention to itself.  They're nice to be around because I never, ever fear that they're going to put me down to make themselves look better, and I sincerely hope that others feel that way with me.

I keep trying, and I'll keep on trying until the day I die, I suppose.  If I lose my humility then I run the risk of becoming arrogant or unpleasant or prideful, and I hope that I don't take the route of any of those.  I want the humility that breeds my compassion and authenticity, and that will help me to lead a life that will benefit others because I realize that they're all just as important as I am, all the time.

Questions to consider:

What do you consider to be some of the benefits of humility?

Why do so few people value the concept of humility?

How might we practice at becoming more humble people?
For further thought:

No need to discount yourself in order to achieve humility; neither can you attain humility by overestimating what you are.  Humility is your correct weight; no more, no less.

Fred van Amburgh

more on humility



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