Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How to teach humility?

How does one begin to teach humility? To start, live humbly. This would include respecting others, listening, and having patience. The problem is that no matter how humble one may be, there is never a guarantee that those surrounding you are necessarily going to follow suit. Sure, one can try (I say try, cause at least in my experience, one can never live with complete humility) to teach humility by showing humility, that is, by living the example. Living humbly, however, becomes all the more difficult in our comtemporary egotistical social environment where we are encouraged to "flaunt" our skills everywhere from on the playing field, to our clothes, to our resumes. It is always difficult to avoid simply becoming a product of one's environment, yet even if one can see through all the insecure egomaniesm, the environment is going to remain, more or less, the same.
How does one preach humility without being a hypocrite? Should one even attempt to teach humility or is it simply something that needs to be learned on one's own? When being/showing/living the humility that one wants to see in the world fails to change our systemically arrogant culture what can one do? Is living humbly sufficient to teach humility?
How does one teach humility without teaching submissiveness? How does one teach humility while simultaneously teaching the pragmatism that requires one to stand up for oneself in a world where no one is likely to stand up on your behalf?

3 comments:

Tyronius said...

"How does one preach humility without becoming a hypocrite?"

After years of asking myself the same question, I found that the answer was nothing more than to:

"Admit to one's own hypocrisy!"

Now that's how you preach humility!

"How does one teach humility without teaching submissiveness?"

By admitting that one cannot!

"How does one teach humility while simultaneously teaching the pragmatism that requires one to stand up for oneself in a world where no one is likely to stand up on your behalf?

"By admitting that one cannot!

If we were able to teach humility in those ways, then we just would become proud of those accomplishments, thus negating the very humility we set out achieve!

Humility is only seeing your faults, and that's something we can all be proud of accomplishing! ~:D

Jeffery said...

In all good philosophy, the most important aspect of the argument is the definition. To define humility as "to think of one's self no greater, AND NO LESSER, than the station they possess", then the argument becomes much more philosophical.

Silvester said...

Tyronius,

I disagree with the last line of your comment. I don't feel that humility is "only seeing your faults", to me humility is seeing that no matter whether I am better at this thing or that, there is and will always be someone in the world that has superior skill/talent/ability to my own - no person can be the end-all, be-all master of anything, because everything evolves and changes.