March 18, What Is Humility?

Thought for today:

In DA we learn the difference between two kinds of pride: the appreciation kind (loving your grandkids, pride in country, gratitude for the life we have) and the arrogance kind (haughtiness, “know-it-all-ism”).  The latter kind gets us in trouble, and when we are finally rebuked by the world (as is often the case when we upset enough people) we become remorseful and guilt-ridden.

Pride and guilt are two sides of the same coin: selfishness. Both are extreme exaggerations that should be avoided.

Humility is the pathway to a sane life of meaning and satisfaction.  It is the sound middle ground between the spectrum of guilt and pride.(1)

Have I found the “middle ground” between pride and guilt, where we can live humbly, and sanely?

Meditation for today:

A person who builds themselves up by cutting others down  may feel like the Higher Power for a while, but the truth will always crash down around them in the end.  The truth is that we all have value and worth, but we all need a Higher Power.

When you feel overly important (you know, big-shot-ism, or feeling like you are surrounded by the enemy), remember the accomplishments of the many people who came before you, in all fields of noble endeavor, many in spite of insurmountable odds.  Their example shows how small our influence in the stream of life really is when compared with all of humanity!

When you feel very low (worthless, useless, inadequate, incorrigible), remember that you were created for higher purposes: to love, to grow and to be loved.  You are as worthy of help and nurturing as any other creature.

Affirmations for today:

I want the humility to know the truth about myself: that I need a Higher Power more than ever.

Today I will find reasons for gratitude.

Prayer for today:

I humbly offer myself to my Higher Power, to do with as it will. “Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do your will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to your love, and to your way of life.”(2)

Related Reading:

(1) Inspiration for this post came in part from the essay on humility entitled “Humility for today”, by Bill W., a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, which can be found in The Best of Bill:

The Best of Bill has five of Bill W.’s most powerful Grapevine articles, in which he shares his thoughts on faith, fear, honesty, humility, and love. This edition also includes “Why Alcoholics Anonymous Is Anonymous,” Bill’s Grapevine article from January 1955.

(2) Alcoholics Anonymous, Fourth Edition, page 64.

Another book to help understand the relationships with those closest to you, and to  improve effectiveness as a communicator is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey:

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years because it is one of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators and parents— in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations.

(By clicking these book links you will be brought to Amazon.com.  If you decide to make a purchase, Amazon gives us a commission.  Using these book links in no way increases your cost of purchase.  It helps us defray the costs of running this website.  Please do not use a credit card to make the purchase.)