What is it to be humble? And why should we be one in a world where self aggrandizement seems to be the only way to glory and success? Well, the answer lies in what and how it changes us, internally.
Humility or, to become a little less different
What is humility?
Humility, the mother of all virtues, is the absence of pride and the ability to be down-to-earth and modest under all circumstances. It is considered to be devoid of arrogance and self-praise, full of helpfulness and compassion. Another key aspect of being humble is the lack of prejudice in action. A humble person will help everyone, irrespective of whether the person is a close relation or a complete stranger. Self-praise and a stubborn attitude are commonly seen as essential to achieving life goals. All this is in contrast with the principle of humility. However, having humility doesn’t mean being timid or letting others trample over you. Being humble doesn’t imply that you become subservient or fail to assert yourself when needed.
Humility can be defined as modesty, having a realistic or low view of yourself and self-importance. It is important to make the distinction between humility and low self-esteem which are often confused. There is a fine line between the two.
In the words of C.S. Lewis, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
Benefits of humility
Humility has some profoundly transformational benefits that lead to great personal success and growth. Our humility can turn our adversaries into allies by keeping our ego aside and being comfortable with being uncomfortable. We have to get out of our comfort zone, because only talking to people who agree with us is not going to get us to the solution. To get the solution, we have to enter into other people’s space to understand their point of view. Talking with our adversaries can help us to understand each other’s perspective better.
Despite all of our similarities we are still very different and despite all of our differences we are still very similar. It is only by being humble, being kind and being sensitive towards each other that we can acknowledge and respect our differences . In the words of Vir Das “It is only by acknowledging our differences that we can become a little less different.”
People respond well to humility because it shows that you place yourself at the same level as them, and not above them. Plus, it has other benefits too. Humble people have higher self-control — and it is the key to a successful life. Studies show that being humble generally leads to better work performance. So even if you’re a little overconfident on the inside, practicing humility can actually get you ahead.
Perhaps the key to humility is seeing life as a journey towards cultivating those qualities that bring out the best in ourselves and others and make this world a better place. And this journey is not just for the average person, but one that many of our greatest leaders have embarked upon.
Humility is the secret to the excellence of high achievers.
The article has been contributed by the following students of St. Joseph’s High School, Matigara, Darjeeling: Komal Chowdhury, Prachi Agarwal, Shinjini Pal and Vidhi Bansal.