Humility is weak and misguided. It is foolish and soft. It is naive and meek. Ultimately, and truthfully, it is misunderstood.
With Humility, the virtue… we value others’ thoughts and feelings. We are willing to give and receive help. We understand that we are all a work in progress; being willing to accept, admit and learn from our mistakes… and allow others to do the same. We are perfecting, not perfection… resilient in our growth. We are grateful for what we see as gifts, given to us. This is the strength of Humility.
Humility is strength. I personally and affectionately call it Humble Swagger. It is not arrogant to think oneself worthy of being here when one also knows we all are so worthy. It is not arrogant to own our space and lives when we allow others to do the same. Humility is not humiliation. It is a sense of true equality, understanding that we each have our road to figure and navigate. It is also born of what I call and have written on, The Secret Truth©.
Humility is a healthy confidence; a confidence in a bigger picture and our own value in it… and the value of others. Humility is the bulwark against excessive ego, judgement and envy. Judge not lest ye be judged is born of Humility. Breathe not the sins of others is born of Humility. With Humility, we are not judgingly concerned with the faults of others. We know we are each on our path. This does not preclude standing for justice and fairness. It necessitates it. Humility says we are all of value and when we see that others are not treating still others so, we address it.
The Jedi were humble; as were the Knights of the Round Table. When they were not, nastiness abounded…. dysfunctional conflict, contention, and even apathy. The myth that humility is somehow weak is misguided. Humility is born of the nobility of spirit. It is the founding principle of great constitutions. Humility is strength of conviction, that we all matter.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. —
It screams Humility and Humble Swagger in a gentle, assertive, truthful whisper. Humility stands quietly confident in the face of excessive drama, hatred, fear, envy, enmity, suspicion, superiority, judgement and so much more… and it does stand. Great and humble leaders stand nobly in the face of fear and prejudice. Watching both Captain America Civil War and Zootopia a few weekends back, I saw examples of the strength of humility in the stories. It stands in the face of vengeance and vitriol alike.
Over the past few weeks, we have been exploring virtues or strengths of character as they relate to leadership. Indeed, that is what we do. We have examined acceptance, unity, zeal, simplicity and confidence thus far in this particular part of the process. We will now be taking a look at the behaviours of Humility that are strengths of leadership at school, work and community.
We humbly hope you join us.
For now, ask yourself how Humility might strengthen you as a leader.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™
Some songs on Humility…
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