Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Thoughts on humility

I guess in every era of humanity, certain characteristics are more pronounced than others, depending on events, cultural beliefs and societal norms, prosperity (or not), available technologies, and surely a whole host of other influential factors.

As I move through the years and continue to develop more and more self-awareness, it causes me to reflect on society at large; the environment around me that influences so much of who I am.

No matter how individual and self-aware we consider ourselves to be, a substantial percentage of this 'self' we identify as is a pure result of what we see around us. We are constantly receiving cues from the rest of the herd, and this shapes our behavior and our minds, even if we fancy ourselves contrarian in thought and action.

The essence of humility seems to come from a place of service. Service to what? It doesn't seem so much as service to someone as it does service to some higher ideal. (So, to illustrate what I mean by that, I believe that while parents can be a wonderful example of humility, the higher ideal presupposes the daily acts of humility).

Humility could be a great act of service in the Western world where the prevailing attitudes are abrasive, loud, competitive, and self glorifying.

Maybe because they are more rare these days, I find myself taken aback by those who embody gentler characteristics of beauty such as humility, grace, calmness, and sincerity. There is a goodness that shines through if you have eyes to see it and a heart and mind to recognize that kind of quiet and subtle strength.

While I'm interested in the outward appearance of humility for its potential ripple effect, I'm more curious about the inward experience of humility. What does humility feel like? Here are a few things that come to my mind to start me thinking on it more:

Humility feels like--

  • the opposite of perfectionism
  • the opposite of self importance 
  • acceptance of what is rather than resistance
  • absence of self-righteousness, or perhaps all righteousness
  • internalization that you are fallible, and so are others
  • being fixed toward higher ideals and morals; not governed by emotional whims and moods
  • a mode of listening and receptivity rather than feedback and penetration
  • lack of criticism

Muses of humility?

  • Taka, the female lead on The Last Samurai movie 
  • Agafia Lykov, perhaps
  • ...
I'll add to this list as I think more on the topic. I'm interested to hear others input, so please leave a comment if you have thoughts on humility, modern cultures lack of it, or any muses of humility that you can think of.

tiffany davidson, behavior, culture, modernity, philosophy, post modernity, psychology, self awareness, self development, feminine traits, feminine nature, self growth, tiffany davidson