Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Humility" Defined

Monroe County

John Dickson defines "humility":

"Humility is the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself. More simply, you could say the humble person is marked by a willingness to hold power in service of others." (Dickson, Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership, Kindle Locations 167-169

This definition has the following three ideas.

  1. Humility presupposes your dignity. "The one being humble acts from a height, so to speak, as the “lowering” etymology makes clear. True humility assumes the dignity or strength of the one possessing the virtue, which is why it should not be confused with having low self-esteem or being a doormat for others." (Kindle Locations 170-172) It i impossible to be humble without a healthy sense of self-worth. 
  2. Humility is willing. "It is a choice. Otherwise it is humiliation. (K 172)
  3. Humility is social. "It is not a private act of self-deprecation—banishing proud thoughts, refusing to talk about your achievements and so on. I would call this simple “modesty". But humility is about redirecting of your powers, whether physical, intellectual, financial or structural, for the sake of others." (Kindle Locations 179-181)