Humility is not something that someone does once, but that one must strive to maintain if it is to be a consistent part of that individual’s life. As I thought of this, I also thought on how arrogance is not always boastful or typical of what we commonly associate with pride. There are many subtle ways to which a person can display a characteristic of pride.
Humility – a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness
It is a mistake to assume that people do not know what you know, or that they are any less intelligent than you are. Even if you are wise, remember that even a fool is considered wise when he just stops talking. I am sure we all have our own stories concerning people who were surprised to discover that we knew more than what was perceived by way of our silence or decision to withhold certain information. Assumptions cover a lot of ground as they are always based on preconceived notions and unanswered questions. It is always best to communicate with others to learn more about them, than it is to assume something about them. It may seem odd at first, but asking questions is a good thing because it helps us to understand and to get to know the individual.
This is a tricky one and comes through very subtly. At any time in our lives where we fight against acceptance, then we exhibit a form of pride. We must understand that stepping stones exist for a reason; they are bridges to the next level of our growth and for that we may not understand it when we first encounter it, whatever it may be. People who struggle with acceptance also have a habit of disagreeing with every single thing. This too is a form of pride. The person may not realize it, but they are expressing a form of arrogance. Why is it that you have something to say about every thing? How is it that everyone is wrong but you? That person needs to sit back and ask themselves why.
The thing to remember is that all is not meant to be understood in the moment, but to be accepted. In the words of Rainer Maria Rilke, “Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them.” Sometimes we are not in a place in our lives to understand, no more than a five year old understands how to safely handle a weapon, and for that we must accept the place we are in now until we can grow into the person who could. “At present you need to live the questions. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)
No, begging is different. But seriously, being afraid to ask for help is another subtle form of pride. It stems from our fear that others will either judge us or think that we do not know something. But you know what? So what! So what if you don’t know? No one knows everything and everyone has something to learn from someone. If you are afraid to ask for help when you need it, now is a good time to ask yourself why. Why does it matter how others perceive you? People talk a lot about keeping it real but being afraid to admit our wrongs, or our mistakes, or ask for help is not being real. That’s being fake.
This one is like acceptance. Once you’ve accepted what is, then you can just be. Another subtlety, people who are not content express a form of arrogance. What you’re essentially saying is that what you have is not enough. I’ve learned that discontent is also a triplet, she has two identical sisters who accompany her everywhere that she goes. Now, I actually have a twin sister and though we look alike, we are also very different. For that, discontent has two twin sisters and although they can be very different, they are also very connected. Their names are covetousness and complaint.
When you’re not content in your present situation, you can be sure that a lot of complaining will accompany it and leading you to ultimately covet what you do not have. However, I’ve also learned that contentment is like this undercover miracle worker. When you are truly content in your life, all worry, stress, and depression leave you. I know that many of you are off on weekends and especially on Sundays. Just take some time today and embrace the stillness, and to practice being content in all that you have.