I was going to write something big and important (to me) and really heart-felt about gratitude and being present, about family and finding your community, and about … just life. Then as I was getting the swirling ideas in my brain into a somewhat logical format, I read something that really clicked. I read the following article, included below, from DailyOm (which is a daily awesome gift of meaningfulness in your inbox). I thought I would share it with you on this day of giving thanks, this day when we should be focusing on the best parts of our world, our day, our lives.
We are at once important, most important, and not at all important. And that is just as it should be, because that is our place in this world. Understanding that, and accepting that, is part in parcel of understanding your importance (which is ‘very’) and worth (which is ‘huge’) in this world.
In my mind, humility is a big part of thankfulness, and thus an important concept to embrace on this day in particular because one who is humble is more likely to feel grateful for what they have in their lives. Often mistaken for weakness, humility instead is a display of inner strength and understanding. Humility is an ability to accept others – and yourself –for who they are, and still love them. Humility is peace of mind because through acceptance, you see less competition and feel less angst; you are incomparable so there is no need to compare.
I promise not to get all preach-y. Know that I am most thankful for all of you tuning in, I am thankful we have a space where we can move more towards being well as individuals, as families, and as communities.
Practicing humility in life is important - while you may have a greater understanding in some areas, others will always be able to teach you something in other areas.
The notion of humility as a virtue brings numerous images to mind. We tend to envision those rare individuals who humbly bear life's struggles while downplaying their own strengths. Yet humility is also associated with people whose insecurities compel them to judge themselves unfavorably as a matter of course. The true definition of humility, however, does not correspond precisely with either of these images. Humility is not passivity. Rather, it is an utter lack of self-importance. The individuals who embody the concept of humility appreciate that each human being on the planet occupies a unique place on an infinite spectrum of development. Though they can take pride in their own accomplishments, they also understand that the people they interact with each day are as valuable and have as much to offer the world as they themselves do.
To be humble is to accept that while there will always be individuals more and less advanced than yourself, those on all parts of the spectrum of development can provide you with insights that further your personal evolution. Recognizing these insights is a matter of opening yourself to the fact that not only do others think and feel differently than you, but their life experiences have shaped them in a very different way than yours have shaped you. This means that while you may have a greater understanding in some areas, others will always be able to teach you something. When you cultivate a genuine yearning to know what skills and talents those you encounter have been blessed with, you cannot help but learn humility. You instinctively understand that emotions like envy breed resistance that prevents you from growing, and that being flexible in your interactions with others will help you connect with unexpected mentors.
When you practice humility, you want to become as accomplished and evolved as you can possibly be, yet you are willing to submit to the expertise of others to do so. You understand the scope of your aptitudes yet you choose to eradicate arrogance from your attitude, and you can distinguish the value you possess as an individual while still acting in the interests of your fellow human beings.
Humility, simply put, is a form of balance in which you can celebrate your own worth while sincerely believing that every other person on the planet is just as worthy as you.