It’s difficult to be humble anymore.
Things like resumes, titles, accolades, awards, degrees, anything that separates us from the pack conditions us to have the mentality that we’re better than other people.
And sometimes that’s necessary. Without hierarchy a lot of things would fall apart and cease to be what they are. Power distance has proven to be a vital part to human society time and time again.
Before we realize, humility is no longer a value.
But where hierarchy should not exist is how we treat one another. At the end, we should treat everyone equally. And to do that, we must live as if we are beneath them, no matter where we go.
Sometimes, people can confuse themselves believing that to act humble is to act without confidence or dignity, which is not true.
But confidence and humility are not opposites. Pride and humility are. Confidence is knowing you’re capable of accomplishing something regardless of what others can accomplish, but pride is the belief you’re better than others.
The importance of humility is part of building and maintaining relationships, because often it takes humility to be there for someone when they need to vent and let out their emotions. It takes humility to clean and cook for someone. It takes humility to give gifts. It takes humility to be kind. Sometimes we are humble without consciously trying to be.
Because of the importance of humility, you can carry it anywhere you go.
When I first came to college when I was 18, I struggled with humility because I had a new clean slate with a whole class of people who didn’t know me yet, and I wanted to show them the best of myself.
I would be far from humble, even when it came to things I couldn’t be prideful about like sports and athletics because I was not an athletic person but I’d be overly competitive and driven to win just to either fit in or be noticed.
But there were easy ways to be humble. Being kind to the ones that beat me, cleaning up the rec room after watching Eagles football games, choosing to be silent rather than spiteful.
When my old high school church denied me from certain opportunities, I chose to be angry at them and stop going, but because of that I stopped growing and strayed away from any mental or spiritual progress I was making, but I could have been humble and told myself – regardless of whether or not they were right – that other people were just as deserving of those opportunities regardless of how much I had done for that church. That lack of humility ended up costing me.
Being humble is on a number of lists of virtues from hundreds of old philosophers who talked about these subjects. And its for good reason. You lose a bit of yourself if you get too wrapped up in things like pride, before you realize you’ve become self-centered and start to drive people away. By being humble you take the necessary steps away from that outcome and become a better person because of it.