“Imitate Jesus and Socrates.” – Benjamin Franklin
Before I begin, please allow me to mention that I consider humility and modesty to be two different virtues. I define modesty as the virtue of stopping myself from bragging or trying to impress others and humility as the virtue of doing things that benefit others.
I have an equally big mouth and heart, so naturally I formed both the bad habit of talking about myself and the good habit of being of service to others whenever I can.
Though modesty is something I’ve been working on for quite some time now, this specific article is about how to install the virtue of humility in our lives, so let’s get right to it!
We are all equal. No exceptions.
The easiest way for me to describe being humble is as the opposite of feeling superior. Notice I said being humble and feeling superior. Someone can be superior to you in rank, muscle, status, etc., but that does not mean they have to show it.
All truly great leaders have this virtue. It’s simply called: Leading by example. For some people it’s natural. Others need to consciously practice it. But what I can tell you for sure is that anyone can master it.
There are many examples both in history and even in today’s world of people, organizations or sometimes even entire nations falling down because of one or more people that just felt more important than those around them.
Humility vs. Efficiency
Though I currently do not have one, one of my goals is to have a personal cook. Someone to whom I can give a recipe of something I want to eat or, even better, an entire meal plan and they buy all of the ingredients and have the food ready for the specified hours.
Does this mean that I don’t want to cook because I feel superior? Of course not! I just prefer to do other things, like reading, working out, learning a new language and so on. Also cooking is a skill just like any other and I would rather pay someone that is already good at it.
I am just as respectful to a cook as I am to a professor or cleaning lady or even a government official. This has, at times, brought me miss fortune because many people try to mask their incompetence with authority.
Emphasize at all times
Do you see someone pushing a car that just won’t start? Well… What are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves and start pushing! One of your friends is hungry, make them a sandwich! 🙂
The fastest way to be humble is to serve. It does not matter how much money you have, how big your network is or how smart you are. Show that you care. Be human. Plus, it’s an awesome way to make new friends or strengthen the friendships you already have.
Does having enough money to go swim with whales, eat at expensive restaurants and sleep in five star hotels mean that you cannot enjoy a simple game of Monopoly in the living room with your friends whilst eating popcorn or some nachos? (Mmmmm… Nachos!!)
No way. Life is beautiful, true friends are a blessing, the person you love and loves you back is priceless and moments spent alive are a gift. Remember that and humility will be part of your life, without effort.
One journey ends, another begins
Humility was the last of Benjamin Franklin’s 13 most important virtues. It has been much harder measure and write about them than I initially thought, but it was more than worth it!
I’ve exercised my discipline, increased my competency in written communication, learned a few things about myself and, best of all, I added value to the lives of others!
Now, 26 weeks later, in December 2014, it feels amazing to have finished this personal challenge and I can’t wait to make 2015 the best year ever!
As a final thought for those who read my previous article, Tihui’s operation was a complete success! She is now the happiest dog ever and she’s also looking forward to and amazing 2015! 😀
Best wishes to everyone and, until we meet again, stay humble and enjoy this wonderful gift we all have in common called: Life!
Creating a better tomorrow