Quite often, we hear that we should be humble. The question is: does humility really help?
Will you not instead suffer if you are humble?
Let us see what the one who created the universe gives as instruction concerning humility. In addition , let us see what some great men and women have taught us about humility.
Humility is meekness;
Behind down to earth;
First, let us visit the Gospel of St. Luke and go straight to Chapter 14 verse 11:
“For those who make themselves great will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be made great.” (Luke 14:11)
This tells us how valuable humility is. It is a master of virtues and so God gave us very clear instructions about it. That is not all. Jesus Christ went on to show us an outstanding example of humility. He washed the feet of his disciples; and accepted to die a humiliating death on the cross.
If you consider yourself more important than others, you are mistaken. To God, we are the same, with different roles to play on earth.
If you think that you can do all the things you like to do by yourself, you are mistaken. Nobody knows it all. Nobody can do everything by themselves. We need God. We need others. We have to be humble and accept that fact.
Do you try to do everything by yourself? Do you think you are always right and every other person around you is always wrong. That is pride.
It is an easy way to hit your head on a hard rock.
We need others. You need your spouse so that you can have the kids.
You need neighbours to form a community.
You need students to have teachers.
You need followers to be a leader.
As you go about your life, spare no opportunity to learn so that you may grow. If you don’t learn, you don’t grow.
Know that you can learn from everybody that you meet.
You can learn from your driver.
You can learn from you car repairer.
You can learn from your house help.
Do you know why you have to go to a barber to have your hair cut? Because you cannot cut your own hair. You need a barber.
In life, we have distribution of labour. You do some things and others do some. All of us combine our efforts and do the things that we have to do.
You go to your hairdresser for your hairdo. It’s your tailor or seamstress who does your dresses.
What of your shoe mender? Well, you don’t repair your shoes by yourself. He does them for you.
That is life. We do some things; others do some.
We learn from others. Don’t forget. Even the smallest person you meet can teach you an important lesson.
All this tells us that we need to be humble.
Humility is a great virtue, indeed. I like what Rabindranath Tagore says about it:
” We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.”
Humility is a worthwhile virtue to acquire and to pass on to our children.
As Zig Ziglar says, “Humility will open more doors than arrogance will ever do ”
Remember “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” St. Augustine of Hippo
I very much enjoy Dave Kerpen’s narrative of how he learned the virtue of humility.
Dave tells us how he was a top salesperson in his country for Radio Disney at age 25. As he was making great money, he became arrogant and cocky.
One day, he appeared on national television drunk and, hear him:
“I totally humiliated myself in front of millions of people.”
That humiliation turned out to be one of the best blessings in his life. It taught him the virtue of humility.
Today, Dave teaches other people to be humble.
This is what he says:
“…no matter how smart, successful, good looking or special you are, nobody likes a braggart. Nobody likes cockiness.”
I also got this from him:
“It’s really important that you practice humility, to develop into a better leader and a better person.”
Dave has compiled a list of 15 quotes on humility that he hopes can inspire readers to learn to be humble.
It is from that list that I got two great quotes which I love to share with my friends. They mean so much to me. One is by Jackson Brown and the other by Jesse Jackson.
“Every person that you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.” (H. Jackson Brown)
“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up” (Jesse Jackson).
Each time I think about humility, the image that comes to my mind is the mosquito. There is a quote which says
“If you think you are too small to create an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.”
This version is attributed to Anita Rodick. There are other versions of the same quote attributed to other authors.
Another author asks why you should be afraid of facing a giant when the mosquito doesn’t.
All this goes to teach us that even if you are a giant be humble because a mosquito can defeat you.
Some historians have attributed the death of Alexander the Great to malaria which would have been caused by a mosquito bite.
Be humble! Do not underestimate anybody. Respect even the most common or smallest person you come across.
Elephant learned this was the best thing to do only when it was too late.
Because he was the biggest animal in the forest, he was too proud and wicked.
The little animals and birds feared him because of his wickedness and pride.
When ever the small animals saw him coming, they ran for their dear lives.
One little bird was not afraid and decided to build her nest on a tree near the stream when Elephant used to go and drink water.
After a while Little bird laid eggs and hatched beautiful baby birds.
One day, Little Bird went to hunt for insects for her young ones. While she was away, Elephant came by to drink water from the stream near by. On passing, he shook the tree with his big body and the nest fell off. Seeing the baby birds, he was angry and shouted, “What nonsense is this?” So saying, he crushed all of them with his heavy pad.
When Little Bird returned, she found all her children dead. When she asked, Elephant did not only shout but also insulted and threatened to crush her as well if she dared to ask more questions.
Little Bird was so angry she swore to teach Elephant an unforgettable lesson. She hatched a plan. One day, when Elephant was sleeping, she invited the other birds to join her to teach Elephant a lesson. They came and all fell on Elephant and started pecking his eyes. Elephant could not defend himself against an army of birds. They pecked and pecked till the eyes burst and Elephant became blind.
All the birds were happy.
Little Bird went to Father Frog and told him what they had done. He asked them to support him to get rid of wicked Elephant once and for all. He accepted and rallied all the frogs in the stream. When he announced to them what Little Bird had requested, they were only too happy to cooperate. They had suffered so much in the hands of proud and wicked Elephant and wanted an end to it. He had often walked on them mercilessly and many of them had been killed that way.
Little Bird told them her plan which was that they should all leave the river and go up to the cliff and see what would happen. They obliged.
It was not long when Elephant became thirsty. Now blind, he could not locate where the stream was. Then he listened and heard the croaking of the frogs and said to himself.
“I can now find my way. Frogs live in water. That must be where the stream is.” So saying, he took his heavy body to go and drink water. Before long, he found himself rolling down the cliff. At the bottom, he was dead.
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”(Jam.4:6)
If you are an important or strong person in your community or country because of your position or wealth, do not be proud. Do not look low on those who are not as fortunate as you. Do not maltreat them or trample on them. Treat them kindly. Do not think that you are more powerful than all. If a mosquito can kill a giant, a little person can pull you down.
“Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.”
(1 Peter 5:6)
Know that as a mosquito can kill a giant, a little hole can sink a ship.
What are the benefits of humility?
- It makes you listen to others
- It enables you to understand people better.
- People appreciate you because people do not like haughty people.
- You excel in leadership because people are willing to cooperate with you.
- You easily fix relationship with people if there is stres gives self control.
- You handle anger better.
- Humble people have strong faith. They do not let pride stand between them and God.
- They are very prayerful and that places them well to win God’s favour.
Mother Teresa has named humility the mother of all virtues. She is the Patron Saint of humility. She lived an exemplary humble life. And teaches by her life and achievements that humility is the way to greatness.
Humility is thus, a virtue to acquire. It will take you places. The greatest men and women if the world were humble. Examples are Jesus Christ, Mary, the Mother if Jesus, Joseph the foster father if Jesus and in modern times mother Teresa and Saint John Paul II.
Be humble and God will reward you. Be humble and be great.