Chapter 6.6 Humility


“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”
St. Augustine (354-430)       Roman Catholic Saint

Being humble is tough.  We crave attention, we want recognition … and to ensure that our great achievements are not unnoticed by those around us, we will often resort to tooting our own horn. Our Pride shines strong.

Almost everything that we do, we expect some recognition in return.  “Do you know what I did?”  Even if the reward is just a little stroking or admiration, we still want someone else to know that we did something special and we are recognized for it.

“You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.”
Olin Miller       Inspirational Writer

(Hmmm … need to think about that one a little deeper.)

Certainly, part of the problem comes from the fact that many people you encounter are more than willing to tell you what they (or their children) have accomplished.  For a while, I tried to play the Michael Corleone image … cool, detached, listening closely, resisting the urge to spout my accomplishments.

“Never to talk about oneself is a very refined form of hypocrisy.”
Friedrich Nietzsche  (1844-1900)       German Philospher

But after a few months of listening to common successes in mundane achievements, I faltered.  My humility was not strong enough to hold back my ego.  Yeah!!  I’ve been doing some good stuff too!  Listen to mine!

Let’s consider a common occurrence. An acquaintance will ask you a question about something … say your recent vacation … a chance for you to share some memories with your friends.  As you begin to give an abridged summary (hopefully) of your trip, where you attempt to relate events that might be of interest to the other person … when, whoops!  They interrupt you! … just about the time you finish the first sentence.

“Did you say Florida?  I was in Florida 28 years ago, hitch-hikingthroughtoNewYorkonmyfamousrebelliontripthatwentto-62ofthecontinentalUnitedStatesbecause…..andthen……ohHa-Ha!blah-blah-blah…..”.  I am absolutely amazed how some people can continue on without breathing.  How did they find the gap to wedge into?  They were not really interested in your vacation, anymore than they want to have a two-way dialogue.

“Talking about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.”
Friedrich Nietzsche  (1844-1900)      German Philospher

Perhaps their lives have stalled, and they have to go back to those grander days … the magic of the memory in rose-tint.  I’ve recently come to realize that this one-way dialogue is a major grab for energy … my energy!  A one-sided conversation allows the talker to get close to you, to suck in your energy.  You have to admit, you do feel deflated … and you kind of feel violated. Maybe tuning out is actually an effective strategy to shield off energy drain.

“A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”
Gautama Buddha (563 BC – 483 BC)       Spiritual Teacher/Founder of Buddhism

So, what attributes make for good communication?  Competitiveness?  Not usually.  Good listening?  Of course.  True interest?  OK.  Rambling and wandering?  Waiter, bring me the check, please.  Conciseness?  Right on!  Equal exchange?  What a strange concept.

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
Lao Tzu (570-490 B.C.)       Chinese Founder of Taoism

When you really do have a good back and forth conversation with someone, you share the energy.  Many times the collective energy is enhanced, actually enlarged and strengthened as you share a common excitement.  Learning (and bonding) occurs.

“True humility is contentment.”
Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881)       Swiss Writer

Humbleness occurs when you have finally understood who you are.  What we do is that which nurtures our souls.  No one needs to know about it except us, because the reward was in doing the deed.  Continuously doing the right things, without the rooster’s crow, is soon recognized anyway … with a genuine respect.

“The silence that accepts merit as the most natural thing in the world is the highest applause.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)       American Writer

When we do enjoy an accomplishment, we often forget an important response … we forget to show our gratitude. We try to remember to thank those that helped us in achieving our goals, to give them recognition and to welcome them into our circle of beaming. But do you take some quiet time, some time by yourself to reflect on your achievement? Do you thank yourself for your commitment and your perseverance to push your task forward?

Do you also thank the Universe and your guides for assisting your steps along the way? Just like we all want to be thanked and be recognized, our Guides are not totally disengaged with our world.The want to see that you get it, that it wasn’t just all you.

Gratitude is a silent recognition. It is recognition of both your grand achievements, as well as the simple gifts you receive in life each day. Being grateful helps to sweep away the negative side of things. You appreciate what you have.

“While we pursue happiness, we flee from contentment.”
Hasidic Proverb

So enjoy the embellishments showered on you through personal humility. And be grateful for what you have. Each day is your journey. Appreciate your special place.

“Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.”
Seneca (mid-1st century AD)       Roman Philosopher,


2 Responses to “Chapter 6.6 Humility”

  1. Pismo Painter Says:

    Many people will consider you a great conversationalist when you have said little and listened a lot.

  2. alpinerainn Says:

    Great chapter! I am intrigued by Nietzsch’s comment that some people talk about themselves to conceal themselves. A great conversation does indeed produce a wonderful exchange of positive (loving, benevolent) energy. If lots of laughter is included…the effect is heightened! I agree…gratitude is essential.

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