The Power of HumilityMay 11, 2020
Words have enormous power, whether written or spoken. Words can bring laughter, and they can bring tears. Words can influence, inspire, manipulate and shock. They can build and they can destroy. The power of life and death is in the tongue (that is, words)! The power of words cannot be quantified. Some words are so powerful that they have visible effects on individuals. One of such words is “humility“. Humility is not just a powerful word, it has also been described as the most beautiful word in the English language. Humility is one word that is seldom in neutral gear. Many people love the word and all that it stands for. Humility is a virtue that everyone should have. There is absolutely nothing to lose by being humble.
What is humility?
Humility has been defined and interpreted differently by different people. Some almost fear it and interpret it to be synonymous with a lack of self-confidence or timidity. For this post, we are going to adopt the dictionary definition of the word which defines humility as “modesty, lacking pretence, not believing that you are superior to others”. A supplementary definition of the work describes humility as “having a lowly opinion of oneself, meekness“. Yet, another dictionary defines humility as “The quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.”
The definition of humility does not include timidity. Instead, humility only requires a man to think of his abilities and actions as being no greater or lesser than they are. Humility means that a man knows and is completely honest with himself. He honestly assesses what are, and to what magnitude he possesses talents and gifts, struggles and weaknesses.
The Benefits of Humility
Humility offers its possessor complete freedom from a desire to impress others, be right, or get ahead. Frustrations and losses have less impact on a humble ego, and a humble person confidently receives the opportunity to grow, improve, and reject society’s labels. A humble life brings about contentment, patience, forgiveness, and compassion. Humble people do not regard themselves as being special or better than other people. Humility works together with gratitude as a character strength.
Humility understands individual limitations. Humans, by definition, are finite and thus, limited in understanding. Our talents are different, our minds are different, and our experiences vary from person to person. Individually, we understand only a small, unique fraction of the world. But together, we arrive at a greater view of the world. Humble people know that their understanding is limited, and they embrace it. (This is sometimes referred to as intellectual humility.) As a result, they wisely look for answers outside of themselves.
Humility appreciates others. All human life carries inherent value. We hold no more value or importance than the individual sitting next to us, no matter where we may be sitting. A humble person appreciates the fact that the world does not revolve around him or her and accepts their position as a tiny piece in the giant puzzle.
Humility respects others and their opinions. Just because an opinion is different from ours does not mean it is wrong. Please don’t get this wrong; the opposing opinion may be right or wrong, and there are countless arguments where both sides cannot be right. What is being said here is that an opinion or argument is not wrong just because it is different … and that is a far better place to begin the dialogue.
Humility listens more and speaks less. It spends more time understanding… and less time being understood.
Humility withholds judgments over intentions. The quickest way to win an argument is to make sweeping judgments concerning the intentions of others. It is the easiest way to discount any valid, conflicting argument. It is also one of the most destructive. It is one of the primary reasons that humility has completely vanished from our political discourse.
Humility helps others and promotes others. Joy is not found in being right and arriving at the top. Rather, joy is found in helping others to grow and succeed. Humility realizes that in those cases, both win.
Humility always begins in our heart. As a result, it offers substantial control over attitude, viewpoint, and actions. It has nothing to prove, but everything to offer.
Characteristics of Humble People
The following are some character traits that set humble people apart from others:
A humble person …
- Often redirects praise to others. They will give credit for success to another person at their own expense to build the other person’s self-confidence.
- Openly acknowledges their faults and weaknesses to help boost other people’s self-confidence and self-esteem. In other words, they lower themselves to lift others.
- Recognizes their talents and strengths as gifts that they openly acknowledge and accept without the need to flaunt them.
- Recognizes that the strengths and the skills they have developed over a lifetime are a direct result of the support that they have received from other people.
- Is always incredibly encouraging of others. No matter what mistakes or errors people make, they are always quick to acknowledge the positive takeaways of every situation.
- Is very open to constructive criticism. As such they are extremely teachable and willing to learn from their choices, behaviours and actions.
- Is quick to apologize and to learn from their errors and mistakes.
- Is both a loyal follower as well as an inspirational leader. They understand how to play each role for the greater benefit of the team.
- Has a competitive streak. Yes, they live with humility, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t strive to do their very best in every situation.
- Has a zest and appreciation for life. They tend to appreciate the smallest of things that others typically take for granted.
- Is intensely focused on serving the greater good of others. As such, they are always keenly aware of people’s desires, wants and needs.
- Keeps their goals to themselves. They understand that talking about their goals can affect some people the wrong way. A focus on encouraging other people to talk about their goals and aspirations is far more appealing for them.
- Listens intently when others are talking. They seek first to understand before jumping to any conclusions.