Today, I’ve committed to writing my gratitude post about humility, though, admittedly, I am not 100% clear on the definition of the word itself. Perhaps because it’s one of those multi-faceted words that, as you begin to define it, evolves.
For me, humility often is associated with the quieting of the ego. It’s the force that de-puffs our chests and softens our footsteps and accepts our limitations. Being humble is also an act of gratitude and appreciation towards ourselves and others. A humble persons pays a compliment, lauds the successes of others, practices radical listening and does not make comparisons. What’s more, a humble person remains open to their surroundings. They embrace each moment with a sense of awe and wonder. They are connected to the gentle ebb and flow of the universe and remain in child-like wonder of the big picture.
Practicing humility is not something that I often think to do. In our culture we’re not taught to be humble. We hoard and brag and strive to get ahead at the expense of others. Paradoxically, we’re taught from a young age not to hurt each other’s feelings so we feign humility by disguising our accomplishments. But this too, is an act of comparison, because it stems from the belief that my success will make you feel inadequate. The result is often times a silent party full of self-approval and the simultaneous down-putting of another person.
In order to fully comprehend humility, however, we must fully comprehend the source of all things–love. I chose Christ as my role model, as we are in the Lenten season, but anyone who truly preaches a message of love can fully grasp the concept of humility. The source of all things is love–and when we can look behind the cloak of illusion, when I can love a stranger, as I love myself or those close to me, is when I break through the surface of humility. As I delve deeper below the surface, my humbled human form realizes that there is no separation between myself and another, myself and the beautiful flower on my side table, nor the things that we consider ugly and oppressive. The particles in me are the same particles spread through everything in the universe.
Today I am grateful for renewed perspective; I am a part of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. I am small and humble, yet undeniably significant.