Humility: A Gift

When you hear the word “humility,” what do you think?

This is my definition: Humility is a state of egolessness. It is a recognition of yourself as equal to the rest of humankind – no better, no less. It is a willingness to admit to flaws and defects. It is an act of submitting to a Higher Power, of admitting that there is a non-human power that is greater than you. It means “to be humble.”

It’s important to make the distinction between “humility” and “humiliation.” In my mind, humiliation is shame, being disgraced, degradation. I believe that humility is an inner state of being, while humiliation is often a reaction to external factors.

I suppose one of the most interesting things I’ve found is that the more confident I am in myself, the more I believe in my own inherent worth, the easier it is for me to be humble. I don’t need the false trappings of the ego to artificially inflate my value. Seems counterintuitive, does it not? And yet, I’ve found my ego and pride to be very shallow pools indeed. Those are things built up (or deflated) by the clothes I’m wearing, the balance in my bank account, the car I drive – or the clothes someone else is wearing, the balance in someone else’s bank account, the car that someone else drives.

Self-confidence, though, runs deep. It allows me to see people around me as my equal. I don’t relate to them from a “one up” or “one down” perspective. We all become precious children of God, each with a special place in the universe with unique gifts to offer. Nobody has to be perfect. They don’t have to be anything other than themselves.

These are the gifts of humility – acceptance, confidence, a sense of serenity. I strive to make it more central to my character. I will be humble. I will be grateful.

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Andrew Hines

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