What is the value of humility?
October 29, 2008 4:28 AM Subscribe
What is the value or point of humility or being humble?
posted by Not Supplied to Human Relations (36 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
I’m interested in various kinds of personal development and the concept of humility and being humble is sometimes suggested as a good thing in books and by people that I know.
In my current thinking, it seems like a redundant idea and possibly limiting people from feeling as good as they can and living life to the full.
I found this information on virtues:
“The Seven Contrary Virtues:
humility, kindness, abstinence, chastity, patience, liberality, diligence
Practicing these virtues is alleged to protect one against temptation toward the Seven Deadly Sins: humility against pride, kindness against envy, abstinence against gluttony, chastity against lust, patience against anger, liberality against greed, and diligence against sloth.”
It seems to me that pride in this case is used as a kind of synonym for arrogance. If that is so, then humility seems to be a crude tool to try and deal with arrogance. It seems to be saying ‘you love yourself too much, put yourself down and love yourself a bit less’. In fact, it seems to me that arrogant people don’t love themselves enough, and the arrogance is a way of shoring up their insecurity. It could be helped by having true pride in themselves, and loving themselves more.
Looking at one of the other examples, chastity, if someone is having a lot of unhealthy sex, these days we wouldn’t really prescribe chastity to counteract the lust, we would generally suggest methods to make them feel better about themself.
Another possible way of looking at it is in a kind of social context. For example, if you’re learning from a teacher, you're is supposed to be humble. If you're is out with a group of people, it’s a bad idea to insist on your own point of view, or go on about yourself. However, I don’t really see the need to think ‘I am just a lowly student, the teacher is more important’ or ‘these people aren’t that interested in me or what I think’.
Is it not better to simply have respect for other people and their needs, have good social skills and in some cases respect for someone’s greater experience?
So, I suppose my question boils down to things like ‘what does humility mean to you’, ‘what do you like about humble people’ ‘how have you adopted humility in your life’?
A little bonus: I recently saw the phrase translated as ‘the gentle shall inherit the earth’ which seemed to make more sense to me than ‘the meek shall inherit the earth’ Is it possible that there is an alternative translation from greek or Hebrew which would be better than humility?