The strains of humility

February 23, 2023by Editorial Team
A misunderstood virtue

One of the under-rated virtues, it is subject to more abuse than accolade. However, like most things in life, its value is to be felt, perceived, internalised, giving a sense of meaning and purpose to one's life. Go for it and feel the difference.

What is Humility?

Humility is one of the greatest virtues for humankind. It is about self acceptance, that is  accepting our own strengths and limitations without any judgement.It is the skill to be completely honest about one’s strengths and weaknesses.  True humility involves an accurate self-assessment, recognition of limitations, keeping accomplishments in perspective.It is thus a sign of strength of character. Humility requires enormous self-esteem, self-control, self-knowledge and self-actualization.

 Being humble comes at times when those around you least expect it. Having humility is something that few people in today’s world value. People of humility are acknowledged as such, not because they brag about being humble, but because it shows in the way they present themselves. Humility is to be felt, not shown.

As Carl S Lewis says, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less”. 


Debunking the myths around humility

Humbleness is not weakness, in fact, it is a gesture of self control. Humility is an essential part of one’s personality, which grows in your heart indirectly.  It isn’t to debase yourself. It is just to understand that you don’t know enough and so that you need to learn more.Humility is often misunderstood as a negative trait.  The common misconception is that humility involves having a low self-esteem, a sense of unworthiness, and a lack of self-focus. Humble people fully appreciate their own gifts and talents, but don’t esteem themselves above others. They are able to be comfortable with who they are and who they are not.  


What characterises humility

Humble people prioritise qualities that benefit others. They also show greater generosity, gratitude and helpfulness –which are the things that can only draw us closer to others. Humility helps one extend more compassion and empathy towards others. Those with humility are more likely to consider others’ feelings and opinions. Humble people are situationally aware and speak out their minds. They are also curious and build-up friendly relations and retain them.         


Benefits of being humble

A humble mindset has significant positive effects on our cognitive, interpersonal, and decision-making skills. Humble students  are genuinely open to feedback, and hence, are better learners and problem solvers.   Humility strengthens various social functions and bonds.

How can we practise humility

We need to develop an accurate understanding of our strengths and weaknesses. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will not forget how you made them feel”. This quote stated by Maya Angelou shows that humility and humanity still persists in the world around us. 


What are the benefits of being humble?

Humility and simplicity are the two great virtues of life that makes us genuinely loved and respected by others. These virtues prevent us from being arrogant.  It is also important for leaders and entrepreneurs to be humble and work effectively as the ‘chief to employee’ relation increases which in turn increases the work-efficiency. These humble leaders see failures as a part of the development process. 

It is  indeed ‘easy to be human, difficult to be humane”.


About the authors

The article has been contributed by the following students from Don Bosco Central School, Mannuthy: Ameya B, Meeval Shine, Shinil Amin and Athul Vinodh.


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