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Humility is a virtue that can help us to grow as individuals and as members of society. It means recognizing our limitations, accepting feedback, and being open to learning from others. It also means acknowledging the contributions and perspectives of others, and respecting their dignity and worth.
In this article, we will explore Humility as a positive attribute of Self-transcendence and look at some famous examples.
Why do many self-transcendent people have Humility?
Self-transcendence is the ability to go beyond one’s own Ego and personal interests, and to connect with Something greater than oneself. Humility is the quality of being modest and respectful, and of acknowledging one’s limitations and imperfections. One possible reason why many self-transcendent people have Humility is that they recognize their place in the larger scheme of things, and they appreciate the contributions and perspectives of others. They do not seek to inflate their own importance or to impose their views on others, but rather to learn from them and to serve them. Humility helps self-transcendent people to maintain a balanced and realistic view of themselves and their role in the world.
Another reason, is that many self-transcendent people have themselves faced the challenges that other people have seen. They have had the hardships, the setbacks and the adversities. Having managed to transcend these for themselves, they have empathy for others facing similar issues and the understanding of how this makes one feel.
Benefits and challenges to Humility
Humility can have many benefits for our personal and social lives, such as:
Enhancing our learning and problem-solving skills. humble people are more aware of their limitations and gaps in their knowledge, and they are more willing to seek feedback and new information. They are also more flexible and adaptable to changing situations and challenges.
Improving our self-control and well-being. Humility can help us cope with Anxiety, Stress, and Negative emotions by reducing our self-focus and Ego-defensiveness. It can also increase our Gratitude, happiness, and Positive emotions by helping us appreciate what we have and who we are.
Strengthening our relationships and social cohesion. Humility can foster more Compassion, empathy, and trust in our interactions with others. It can also reduce conflicts, prejudices, and aggression by making us less judgmental, arrogant, and selfish. humble people are more likely to value the common good over their own interests.
Boosting our leadership and performance. Humility can make us more effective leaders and team members by enhancing our communication, collaboration, and influence skills. It can also motivate us to improve ourselves and achieve our goals by making us more receptive to feedback and criticism.
Humility is not a weakness or a sign of low Self-esteem. It is a strength that can help us grow as individuals and as members of society. Humility is not about denying or hiding our talents or achievements, but about recognizing them without boasting or exaggerating. Humility is not about putting ourselves down or letting others take advantage of us, but about respecting ourselves and others equally.
Some of the challenges to Humility are:
- The influence of social media and self-promotion. Many people use social media platforms to showcase their achievements, opinions, and lifestyles, which can create a sense of comparison and envy among others. Self-promotion can also be seen as a necessary skill for advancing one’s career and reputation, which can conflict with the value of Humility.
- The pressure of expectations and standards. Many people face high expectations and standards from themselves, their families, their peers, and their employers, which can create a sense of Stress and Anxiety. Achieving or exceeding these expectations can also lead to a sense of pride and superiority, while failing or falling short can lead to a sense of shame and inferiority.
- The temptation of power and status. Many people seek power and status in their personal and professional domains, which can provide them with benefits such as recognition, influence, and resources. However, power and status can also corrupt one’s character and judgment, making them more prone to arrogance, selfishness, and abuse.
- The difficulty of admitting mistakes and learning from others. Many people find it hard to admit their mistakes and weaknesses, especially in public or in front of their superiors or subordinates. They may also resist learning from others who have different perspectives or experiences, fearing that they might lose their credibility or authority. This can prevent them from growing and improving themselves, as well as from appreciating the contributions of others.
Famous examples of Humility
Here are some famous examples of Humility from different fields and contexts:
Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement and advocate of non-violence, was known for his simple and humble lifestyle. He wore simple clothes, lived in a small house, and often fasted as a way of self-discipline and protest. He once said, “I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have Humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”
Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, spent 27 years in prison for his fight against apartheid. After his release, he forgave his oppressors and worked for reconciliation and democracy in his country. He once said, “As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but Humility.”
Mother Teresa, the founder of the Missionaries of Charity and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, dedicated her life to serving the poor, the sick, and the dying in India and other countries. She lived among the people she helped, wearing a simple sari and sandals, and often performing menial tasks such as washing wounds or cleaning toilets. She once said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
Albert Einstein, the renowned physicist and Nobel Prize winner, revolutionized the fields of physics and cosmology with his theories of relativity. He was also known for his Humility and curiosity, always seeking to learn more and to question his own assumptions. He once said, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States and the leader of the Union during the Civil War, was admired for his honesty, integrity, and Humility. He often admitted his mistakes and sought advice from others. He once said, “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.”
Meditation for Humility
Here are some weblinks that explore Humility in different contexts: