Humility is the foundation of all virtues- Confucious.
Greetings friends. I’m deeply humbled and honored to entertain each and everyone of you with the little knowledge and understanding God has blessed me with. I will forever be grateful to God for giving me the grace to share the little information at my disposal whenever the opportunity becomes available. If I may ask, of what value is education, information, and knowledge if not shared?
Great minds, today we shall be discussing about humility, a topic of interest I always love to share at any slightest opportunity. Humility means different things to different people, but we shall be looking at humility from the concept of achieving greatness and empowerment. Humility can be defined as a modest or low view of one’s own importance. According to C.S Lewis, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself , it is thinking of yourself less”. I make bold to say that it takes a lot of grace and strength to be humble. As human beings, we always have the tendency to assert our position and superiority at any slightest opportunity especially when we feel we have the right to speak or the buck stops with us forgetting that it pays to listen to the opinion of other people. In my native language, we have a saying, if you know a particular subject, you might not know the other one. This attitude is normally exhibited by bossy leaders and supervisors. In the words of Ezra T. Benson “Pride is concerned with who is right and humility is concerned with what is right”. Moral: It takes humility to learn!
In our contemporary society, it is very easy to spot a humble or narcissistic leader. This is because by their fruits we shall know them. Let’s take for example, celebrities who have attained some level of success in their careers/professions. You can easily say if they are humble or not by observing how they treat their fans.
During the course of this article, we shall be discussing the ways or characters of people who have discovered the wisdom of humility and how it has helped them to succeed in life, and also, we shall also be discussing the adverse effect of pride.
Greatness: I believe the first step of a truly great man is humility-If you really want to succeed in life and if you really want to attain greatness you must learn. The big question is, how do you learn? You learn by serving, and how you can serve? You serve by listening to instructions, directives, and obedience. The hallmark of humility is loyalty! The first quality of any person who wants to lead in is humility. Once you can master this art tactfully, you are 50% certain of cruising home to victory. Great men detest pride with passion, but you can easily win their heart with your submissive attitude and mindset. From my research and observation in recent times, all great men are humble, if you see any person who has attained greatness and has difficulty in practicing the teachings of humility, that person is not a great leader. I have been privileged to have a close interaction with some great leaders who are change makers in the world. These group of individuals have made significant impact in the world by touching lives. Some great attributes about them is their humility to listen, their empathy, meekness, and understanding of details. They can spot or make an opinion of you in less than a minute especially when they feel the energy is not right
Loyalty: This is one of the most influential qualities that can attract anyone to you. I have always opined that at a stage in life, all that is important is loyalty. The world is not concerned with your words, they are merely concerned with your thoughts and actions when it matters most especially when the chips are down. Even in a professional work environment, most supervisors are always skeptical on who looks out for them, the same theory is applicable employees. One of the resourceful way of practicing loyalty is by being humble. When you display this quality to any friend or resourceful being, you are merely telling the person fear not, I am with you. In return for this great act or service, the person can go to any length to promote you in addition to giving you opportunities. According to an erudite legal scholar Babatunde Fashola (SAN) when he was speaking about loyalty, he opined, may our loyalty never be tested.
Leadership: The hallmark of leadership is humility. A leader is known how he treats little people especially those who can’t pay him/her for their kind service and assistance to them. A great leader is a servant leader. It takes humility to lead. Any leader that lacks this virtue of humility will have a hard time in winning the support of his/her base. Let me share some examples of great leaders who have displayed humility at its peak.
Warren Buffet: This business magnate is widely considered the most successful investor in the world. In spite of his mind-boggling wealth (about $81.5. billion) according to Forbes in 2017 Warren Buffet still lives the same kind of life as he did before becoming a billionaire. His frugal ways are legendary — Buffet has lived in the same house in Omaha, which he bought in 1958, and has expressed disdain for splurging on luxury cars and items. Buffet has pledged 99 percent of his fortune to charity, and is a vocal advocate for economic equality, having publicly urged lawmakers to raise taxes on him and the rest of the 1 percent.
POPE FRANCIS: Since he was declared leader of the Catholic church, Pope Francis has been on a roll — not just in his efforts to modernize the religious institution, but in ensuring that the church serves the people. The world’s first Latin American pope altered his role to “foremost a pastor to the flock, not a king,” Francis has been vocal about global poverty, the plight of refugees — even climate change, to the disdain of some American conservatives. In his widely publicized visit to the U.S., Pope Francis passed up the chance to lunch with lawmakers, choosing instead to dine with Washington D.C.’s homeless.
JOYCE BANDA: Shortly after being elected the first female president of Malawi, Joyce Banda sold off the presidential jet and the fleet of 60 Mercedes limousines in an effort to steer the then-struggling country to financial austerity. At the time, she said she didn’t mind flying commercial: “I am already used to hitchhiking,” she had joked. Later, the money earned from selling the plane went to feeding more than 1 million people, the treasury department said. As someone who fled an abusive marriage to become the head of state, Banda also touted the importance of Malawian women’s economic independence.
Jose Mujica: Uruguay’s former president, Jose “Pepe” Mujica, was dubbed the “world’s poorest president” for good reason. A former Tupamaros guerrilla fighter in the 1960’s and ’70’s, Mujica was shot multiple times and spent 14 years in jail in harsh, isolated conditions. When he was elected Uruguayan president in 2009, Mujica donated 90 percent of his presidential salary to charity and ditched the lavish presidential palace, opting instead to live in his ramshackle farm with his wife. For the longest time, his sole personal asset amounted to a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle.Mujica also fearlessly admonished other world leaders for their unfettered allowance of globalization and inequality.
Negative Traits of Pride: The opposite of humility is pride. As mentioned earlier it is very easy to spot people who lack humility. Below are some of the ways we can identify them:
1. They believe consciously or subconsciously that they know everything. As a result, they don’t believe anyone can teach them anything, which keeps them from learning what they need to learn in order to succeed. Wisdom is often hidden in the least likely places. If you lack humility, you will miss it, and if you miss it, you might loose your success. According to Charlie Sheen, uncertainty is a sign of humility and humility is the willingness and ability to learn
2.They believe they are always right. Because they have gotten it right so many times before, they begin to believe they will never get it wrong. Mathematics and science may be predictable, but life is not.
3.They don’t work well in teams. Because they highly value their own opinions, they find it difficult to make room for anyone. They are committed to the glory of their own intellect.
According to Mother Theresa, These are the few ways we can practice humility:
In conclusion, I will like to sum the teaching of humility with the words of John Huskin: The best ornament is humility, the richest wealth is wisdom, the strongest weapon is patience, the best security is faith, the best tonic is laughter. Humility is the foundation of leadership”. As a way of advice, dream big, work hard and stay humble.
My name is Henry Anyaehiechukwu Ukazu, I just want to inspire and bring hope to humanity.