The Benefits of Humility

True humility means to live without a sense of ego. When we are humble we get joy through serving others and giving joy to others. True humility means we have a sense of oneness with others; when we are humble we can get joy from others achievements.

Humility does not mean self-criticism. Humility does not mean becoming like a slave to a master. Sometimes when we try to promote a false modesty and say how bad we are. Often in this case there is actually a sense of ego. We feel by making ourselves to be pitiable we may attract sympathy from others. True humility does not believe in this false modesty. When we are truly humble we avoid drawing unnecessary attention to ourselves. We neither extol ourselves to the skies, nor do we make ourselves out to be a miserable failure.

Humility means we have a self-effacing attitude. We sublimate our personal desires and needs to the greater needs of others. An attitude of humility means that when we work towards something the outcome is not of important; we work with an attitude of detachment. If we take the outcome of efforts with an attitude of equanimity then this is real humility. It is the ego that seeks reward and praise.

“Humility does not mean that we will be always silent and shy, when inside we are criticizing others’ wrong actions and wrong judgments. Humility is the true inner wealth that unites us consciously with God.” (1)

If we are genuinely humble then people will naturally be drawn to us. When our ego comes to the fore it invariably creates conflict and tension. The nature of the ego is to compete with others; we have a constant sense of inferiority or superiority. However, an attitude of humility brings to the fore only our sense of oneness with others. When we are seeking to give equal or greater priority to others; people will instinctively respond in a positive and friendly way.

To develop humility we can think of Mother Nature and the qualities of a tree. No matter what we do to Mother Nature she continues to offer her beauty. A tree offers its shade and fruits without expecting any reward. We can also cultivate humility by seeking to think of others before ourselves. The most significant message of Jesus Christ was to “do unto others as you would have them do to you.” If we live this philosophy to the full, it will entail real humility. This is because when we think of others as an extension of our own reality we are not living to promote our own ego but to make others happy.

(1) Humility: Excerpt from Illumination-Fruits by Sri Chinmoy