Humility. Something we often have a rather… odd relationship with. Starting with: What is it even?
One thing it is not is about erasing ourselves. It is not about the total diminishment of the self. It’s not about becoming invisible or meek. I think it is often viewed in this way thanks to a false-dichotomy trap of taking humility as being the “opposite” of conceited, arrogant, self-absorbed, dismissive, and cocky.
But it is not. Instead, humility is being modest and about being real.
I would instead place humility as being on the middle path. It is between being arrogant and being effacing. I am reminded of a phrase we used at our Kung Fu school: “Practice with a confident, not conceited, attitude.” When we are being humble we can still be confident, and participatory, and legit, and opinionated, and all of those things. At the same time, we also stay mindful of our level of expertise, of what we don’t know and of what we can learn (and that we can ALWAYS learn), of the contributions of others, of the role fortune plays, and so on.
In this way we contribute and express ourselves within, and conscious, of the larger game. We assert ourselves while remaining respectful, open, and in tune with what’s so. We simply have a modest opinion of our own importance – neither overblown nor undervalued.
More next week….