First of all, I want to thank everyone for your support during my recovery from knee replacement surgery. I am finished with physical therapy and just have to do my exercises daily at home ... and, of course, be patient!
During these last couple months and throughout the holidays, I have had plenty of contemplative time, and one of the many things I have thought about is the virtue of humility. It seems so simple to humbly accept whatever life gives us. But, it is not! Otherwise, we would all be more humble and experience humility more often.
"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less." C. S. Lewis wrote this and isn't it just the truth? When I think of people I want to emulate who were humble, I think of Mother Theresa and I think of Blessed Solanus Casey, a Capuchin friar.
I also think of people in my every day life and what an incredible influence and inspiration they are. Here are a few ways humility expresses itself: A friend of one of my daughter's, named Gloria, who is a Navajo woman, graduated from Harvard University. My daughter did not know this until she read her biography. A woman I worked with who was also a national speaker, hardly ever spoke of her notoriety, but her eyes sparkled with gratitude in the quietest of ways. I always found myself wanting to emulate her.
The difference in someone who’s humble lies in their ability to choose between doing something for the praise of others or for their own experience. Humility doesn’t feed off the compliments and tagged pictures of award ceremonies, it trudges through failures with open minds and outstretched patience. Humility doesn’t put it’s nose in the air nor does it stem from self-pride. Humility branches from the ability to say “thank you.
It is that pleasant, comforting, graceful moment I connect to another being. I may be helping or supporting them, but in that very process, humility allows me to realize they are doing the same for me. Humility awakens reciprocity in relationships not competition. It is staying teachable no matter how much I know. True humility focuses on "what" is right not "who" is right.
The virtue of humility is currently lacking in many of our leaders. The more wealth, the more power, the more control I have, the more challenging it is to live a humble life. It is not impossible, but humility is a virtue born from within. It is a virtue that minimizes judgment, pride and ego, so it deepens our connections to each other. What I truly love about humility, is it does not deny my strengths, but it does accept my weaknesses.
I have committed to bringing humility into my daily life this new year, and beyond. In my tiny space on this planet I can become the best version of myself by practicing humility, and in doing so, create a reciprocity of virtue between myself and others that can quietly change and enrich our lives. In the process it will drown out the negativity, selfishness and hostilities that dominate too much of our world. I want balance in my life and I am walking through the gate of humility to do it.
Just wondering, which gate will you open for yourself to create balance in your life, and the best version of yourself?