Humility is that nebulous word once used to describe self it has already been lost.
Perhaps the best definition is a lack of pride; to lack pride or arrogance. The word sounds so nice that our ego craftily misuses it; “May she humbly suggest”. Is this statement not really a prideful attempt at control?
HUMILITY should be a verb because it’s our actions that reflect our intent or state.
I heard someone say they were in line and had to deal with a dismissive Walmart clerk. Shocking yes! She verbally assaulted the clerk, left the store and admitted to her husband through gritted teeth she was wrong.
Humility is going back to the dismissive clerk (who was wrong) and saying I’m sorry. ‘Feeling’ humbled is not the same as acting with humility.
How often do we improperly ascribe the word to a feeling instead of our actions.
We all use justified anger (their dismissiveness) to fuel our ‘assaults’ upon one another. How often do we think “I’m really going to give them a piece of my mind”. I once had someone tell me “I will hunt you down to the ends of the earth and make your life miserable if you don’t….” They have attempted to make my life miserable and have stalked me relentlessly.
So what did we achieve by ‘letting them have it’ other than a reactive or maybe even irrational state. We may even have had the pleasure to discharge some negative emotion with our verbal ejaculation of discomfit onto someone else. Sounds vile when put that way. However, is this not descriptive of what we do? Has it made our life happier? Did we have some good feeling? Did we accomplish an elevated state for ourself? Or did we puff up with pride and walk off feeling satisfied?
How long does that satisfaction last? If our EGO is super big it will taste divine. The problem is, as we feed our ego it needs more and more to gorge upon in order to maintain that ‘satisfied’ state. We will constantly need to ‘crush’ our opponent to feel ok. Any small success on their part, will make us feel depressed and dejected. If we can’t attack our opponent then it will seek out another target; the Walmart clerk or whomever triggers it.
If we our dedicated to a less reactive life. One that is not controlled by our anger, resentments, the need to be right or to make ‘them’ pay, One that is less shallow and meaningless. Then we will have lot’s of opportunities to put HUMILITY to work in our life.
The next time you are wrong with your children say these words “I was wrong. You were right.” Show them it’s ok to make mistakes and you are mature enough to own up to them. Especially do this if they were belligerent and defiant and challenged you! This makes it that much more of a challenge to admit you were wrong and put some humility in your life. Thinking “no way”. It gets easier. And as your defenses come down so do theirs. Who do you think taught them to be belligerent in the first place? Who do you think modeled digging their heals in and saying “no way – never”~
My ego does not like to follow directions. I think those directions are for stupid people and do not apply to me. So I’ve decided to follow them anyway. Rather than walk around with a chip on my shoulder “but this is ME and this ME does not do THAT”. I’ve just decided to be a player among the team. They say great leaders, lead by example. So push the ego aside and set the example.
I’ve won arguments. The “win” didn’t feel good. So I went back and admitted “You know I don’t know why I argued that point because now there is a riff between us and I want to be close. That was petty and I apologize.”
Not everyone will feel this way. I remember when I used to feel like winning was everything. I always saw myself as the “winner”. I set up every scenario in my mind as being “right” and therefore the winner. I felt great satisfaction in my paradigm.
Then it stopped working. Only when it stopped working for me was I ready to change. If the WIN is still working, then let it ride out. Maybe attempt to be a bit nicer though…. That would be a kind gesture along the way. Here’s the thing if you are wrong in the end, and you’ve been really mean, don’t expect too many people to be standing beside you. You better keep winning your ass off. The moment you ‘lose’ they will do what they’ve wanted to do all along; toss you to the curb.
If you’ve been wrong along the way, but you were benevolent, then you may have some support to help you rebuild. Support, like insurance, does not seem valuable until you really need it. Then you may find you are humbled by the generosity of your community whom shows up to offer their support. Being able to receive that love and support is humbling as well. It takes humility to accept and say thank you.
To receive without feeling the need to reciprocate, is just as powerful , as to give without expecting something in return.