The Meaning Of Humility
If you’re anything like me you assumed humility meant humiliation. But now, after digesting the definition above, you’re most likely assuming it means one who is apathetic – indifferent to the human condition as it were.
Yet, both perspectives are glossed over with self-absorption; its important to note that the word has strict intent, to capture an idea that is above all things selfless. Truthfully, it the complete opposite of to self-centeredness; in short, it’s people-centeredness.
At this point you’re probably complaining that I am simply being vague and explaining nothing. Which is perhaps my curse. But an unambiguous answer to the definition of humility is certainly difficult because it is a multi-tiered concept.
However, below I will attempt to sweep away the obscurity and present a simple concept of humility.
Individuals often equate humility with weakness and groveling.
Who can find wisdom without first seeking to acquire it?
Who can become knowledgeable without first admitting they do not know?
Growth assumes assistance and/or help, but who can get help without first realizing they need it?
The minute your lips start the stagnant “I know” mantra you cease to know any more information.
Call it complacency; call it what you will. But you have, for all intents and purposes, become a finished story. Fresh off the lot already depreciating in value.
The Benefit & Signs of Humility
We are a social species and maintain solely in an interdependent state; without it, we no longer progress.
In short, we perish.
Ergo, one MUST ask: where can I contribute?
The self-centered individual looks for the resource to consume; the interdependent person seeks to contribute resources.
The difference is vast.
In western society, we often define contribution in unattainable terms, but it can be as simple as contributing an attentive ear to truly listen to another.
A rare resource indeed!
Consequently, social interdependence is a mutually reliant system; that is, WE ALL RELY ON EACH OTHER.
Humility is simply surrendering to this fact.
Humility The Lifeblood Of The Social Machine
To illustrate, consider the Four Greek Temperaments of Hippocrates.
- The Choleric
- The Sanguine
- The Phlegmatic
- The Melancholic
The Choleric is the leader; he’ll build the city but left to his own devices will drive it to tatters and ruin.
The Phlegmatic is orderly, routine-oriented and analytic, he is able to curb the Choleric chaos. As you can imagine, the relationship between the two is filled with strife and animosity.
Thus enter stage left: the Sanguine. This is the social aristocrat. His social event planning and never failing amiability is able to reduce the Choleric-Phlegmatic division and create a productive level of cohesion.
The Melancholic is the artist; the administrator of passion, without who life would be listless.
Each Individual Is Necessary To The Whole
Though the above description is extraordinarily limited and brief, it nonetheless gets the point across that each temperament is indispensable to a functioning civilization (be it a kingdom, small community, or family).
With this in mind, humility purely becomes the understanding of one’s shortcomings and the realization that another will compensate for the lack.
Self-sufficiency thus becomes an illusion and humility is the application of this truth.
Indeed, the only way to invest in yourself is by investing in others.
Is Your Growth Inhibited? Change That Today!
Small wonder our predecessors called this virtue “humus.” A Latin word which defines the rich, compost soil – the best for producing and sustaining life; and without a shadow of a doubt the best for cultivating prosperity.
To learn more about the Four Greek Temperaments I’d recommend Tim LaHaye’s “Spirit-Controlled Temperament.”
Timmy G (2020)
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