The virtue of humility

Be humble! We are told as children by our elders. However as we grow up we realize that this is by no means an easy task. We as human beings always crave for attention. When we have achieved something or performed any noteworthy act we generally want to shout out from roof tops or mountain tops. We want to let the whole world know of our accomplishments. We want to just sit back and bask in the warmth of appreciation, recognition. We want to wallow in our own pride.
While it is not wrong to want recognition and appreciation we need to be very careful in the way we handle the approbation that comes our way. We need to have the maturity to handle the praise. We need to be humble. What is exactly referred to as humility is nothing more than being able to receive all commendation with poise. We need to receive the ensuing fame with a calmness and equanimity.

Humility is essentially the virtue of not getting carried away with fame. All praise we receive is transitory in nature and we should not fool ourselves into believing that we have super human abilities. We need to be able to take a balanced approach towards life whether it is praise or criticism. This is the mark of mature individual. The perils of being drunk with one’s own self glory are that we become lost and start behaving foolishly. We lose track of our capabilities and start thinking that we can achieve anything. If we approach life with humility with the knowledge that we are mortal and all fame is transitory then we can ensure that we keep performing and becoming better and better at thing. Humility does not diminish praise but ensures that we can act effectively regardless of any success. If we get carried away too easily with appreciation we will also tend to be hurt when there is criticism.

So, whenever we achieve success we must be humble and take all recognition and appreciation in our stride. If we take this approach to life we can achieve even bigger and better things in life.


One thought on “The virtue of humility

  1. chabelkhan November 12, 2011 at 6:24 am Reply

    “We lose track of our capabilities and start thinking that we can achieve anything.”

    How would you respond to the quotation from Bruce Lee that reads, “If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

    I think it is important to recognise that we are human and our capabilities, but not impose upon ourselves the feeling that this is all there is. We should be content, gracious and show humility, but still have the fire in our bellies to go out and triumph, push these limits when it is necessary and accept failure. Failure can be a great teaching tool; recognising our limits sometimes means we have to run straight into them.

    I guess it is like someone coming to a wall on a journey and going “That is it, I cannot go any further!” Some find it reassuring that they have gotten this far, whereas others hit the wall and want to know what is on the other side.

    Are our limits temporary as our species continues to evolve? Isn’t it necessary to thunder passed these boundaries to make progress? Are there ever times arrogance progresses a good idea?

    Chabel Khan.

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