“I don't know how to put this but I'm kind of a big deal. People know me. I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.” - Ron Burgundy - Anchorman
Humility: Freedom from pride or arrogance: the quality or state of being humble.
Humiliate: Make (someone) feel ashamed and foolish by injuring their dignity and self-respect, especially publicly.
Self-deprecating: The act of reprimanding oneself by belittling, undervaluing, disparaging oneself, or being excessively modest.
Confidence: A state of being clear-headed: either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct, or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective.
Bravado: A bold manner or a show of boldness intended to impress or intimidate.
“Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.” - Confucius
“If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.” - Mother Teresa
Lies come in many shapes and sizes, but all can be categorized as either altruistic (unselfish – well intended) or selfish (self-interested – bad intent – protection of one’s ego). In a world where it is difficult to discern facts from lies, identifying humility is vital because it cannot survive simultaneously with an ego-based, malintent lie. Self-serving lies are born of and endure from pride and arrogance, qualities which are absent in the truly humble. Self-serving lies are perpetuated to avoid humiliation, and he who is truly humble cannot be humiliated. A truly humble person is not predisposed to lie for ill-intended reasons because they are free from pride and arrogance, common motivations for the lie.
Lack of humiliation does not absolutely ensure that one is humble, because there is another profile for those who are not easily humiliated. They are the shameless.
Below are three myths of humility, for better identifying the humble:
Myth 1 – Humility is Self-Deprecation: Humility is not self-deprecation. Those who self-deprecate belittle, undervalue, or disparage themselves beyond reason. Those who are humble do value their contributions, but they do so without the need (dependence on) to derive pleasure or satisfaction.
Myth 2 – Those with Humility Lack Confidence: Confidence is a level of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. Those who possess humility appreciate their own capabilities without the need for outside approval and reassurance. This is the ultimate confidence. Humility and confidence are dependent upon each other as neither can exist without the other. Beware, bravado is often confused for confidence. While humility cannot live without confidence, it easily dies with bravado.
Myth 3 – Humble People Wish to Be Recognized as Humble: Humble people wish not to be recognized. Humility is living without ego. Ego of course craves and hungers for recognition. The most dangerous of all, the deceivers of all deceivers, are the masqueraders and hypocrites best described as the falsely humble.
After working as a missionary for Sisters of Loreto for 20 years, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in India in 1950, and for over 45 years, she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned children, and dying. At the time of her death, she ran over 600 Mother Homes in over 100 countries. Mother Teresa was a force that relentlessly powered her way into the closed offices of presidents and world leaders, through iron curtains, and over war zones to move proverbial mountains on behalf of the people served through her missions. Mother Teresa was one of the most powerful people in the world, because of her unassuming nature and modesty, that is her humility. Today, the Missionaries of Charity continue to operate in 133 countries.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta recommended the following maxims to grow in humility:
· To speak as little as possible of one's self.
· Not to want to manage other people's affairs.
· To accept contradictions and correction with strength.
· To react more slowly to the mistakes of others.
· Work at being more kind and gentle.
· To not always choose the easiest.
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