(image from Pixabay)
The other week I was working with my two business colleagues, running a workshop for a bunch of (really awesome) Head teachers. At one point in the workshop we were doing some work on character strengths (right up my alley right?!?) and one of the teacher's happened to choose the word "humility" as part of the exercise. At this point I happened to pipe up and mention my 2017 Character Challenge, and how the month of March was all about humility and that I was interested in what people thought it meant.
This guy's response has stuck with me - "I think humility, or to be humble, is to know that you are no better then anyone else, that we are all human and we all make mistakes and have opportunities."
I actually agree with him. I think that when it comes down to it, to be truly humble is to acknowledge, know, and act as though you are not better then anyone else. This doesn't mean that we should strive for stuff, set goals, work hard to achieve our dreams, but it does mean recognising that we all have this right, and just as we have the right to strive, we are also going to experience failure, obstacles, tragedies, sadness, grief...
Humility, or to be humble, is to really feel what it is to be human. To be humble is to recognise ones own weaknesses and limitations, and to accept these, just as we accept our strengths.... but it also means to accept the weaknesses of others, to not judge harshly - as we all feel anger, frustration, fear, and sadness - and if we can feel this, then so do others, and so who are we to judge.
Perhaps then, to show humility is to not judge, not criticise, not fear, but to be open, forgiving, and loving in all of our interactions with people around us. It is in this that we see the idea of interconnectedness and collectivity. In this world of individuality, we are taught to embrace our differences and uniqueness, and whilst to celebrate our differences and uniqueness, we should also look for and love our similarities, for it is here that we see true humility.