“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
When my wife and I got married in 2001, I became part of a new family. The Philippines is known for its close family ties and my wife’s family is a perfect example. Her grandparents, uncles and aunts, and her parents’ houses are all in close proximity and they all get along well. They often visit each other to bring food and spend special occasions together. It felt good to belong in this very big clan where people are close to one another.
What I admired most was how simple their lives were especially her grandparents. With the hectares of land and thousands of fruit-bearing trees they own, I can just imagine how much they earn during harvest season but despite all these, they chose to live simple lives.
The house they lived in is your typical up and down ancestral house and they don’t have a car or any of the expensive appliances we usually find in homes today. They could buy all these if they wanted to, but they chose not to. Their humility and being down-to-earth is truly remarkable.
My wife’s late grandfather, at almost 90 years of age during that time, can just sit back, relax and oversee his hired workers take care of the crops but he chose to do it himself when he can. He only slowed down when he started getting sick more often.
The reason why I am so amazed by this kind of humility is because I rarely see it today. More often, people today love to talk about themselves and how great they are. Others have this strong desire to always be better than the rest and treat every situation as competition.
Humility is a virtue. It is the act of lowering oneself in relation to others. A virtue that in my opinion should still be followed especially by the current generation because being humble has its benefits and these are some of them.
Peace of Mind
Living a humble existence keeps you away from the stress and pressure of trying to prove yourself by always attempting to outperform others simply to gain a certain amount of popularity, power and respect. It relieves you from the notion of being a lot more significant than what one has to be.
Humility keeps you grounded and makes you feel comfortable of who you are without lacking self-confidence.
Opportunity to Grow
Humility makes you realize that as an individual, you still have a lot of room for growth. That there is still much to learn and it keeps you open to those possibilities.
People who lack humility thinks they already know everything and this arrogance is sometimes all that it takes for them to fail.
Helps you Avoid False Expectations
There is a thin line between being humble and having low self-esteem or lack of confidence. Being humble gives you a more realistic assessment of your capabilities and strength thereby saving you from the pain of failure due to false expectation. It makes you aware of what you can and cannot do and this accurate assessment of one’s limitations will help manage your expectations.
A Good Social Life
Let’s admit it. Would you rather be talking to an arrogant prick who does nothing but talk about himself and his never-ending list of achievements or talk to someone who actually listens to your ideas and uplifts your spirit?
Humble people are good listeners because they are more concerned with how they can help the other person than keep singing praises toward himself instead of waiting for others to do it.
Earn People’s Respect
Living a simple life and being down-to-earth not only gives you a good social life. It also helps you earn the respect of other people. Humble people would avoid giving praise to himself as much as he can. Appreciation and recognition of their abilities normally comes from other people.
As the saying goes, respect is earned and not demanded. When people start taking notice of your good qualities without you asking them for it, humility has done its job.
How about you? Are you taking steps to keep staying humble?
I’d love to hear from you so feel free to leave your comments below.