There is something in humility which strangely exalts the heart

There is something in humility which strangely exalts the heart. – Saint Augustine

There are few people more humble than those awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Please read the details of his actions, see the Photo link at bottom of the post.

What does that mean?
Humility, or the act of being humble, is about being modest, and is the antithesis of arrogance and pride. Acting in a humble manner does bring a powerful level of emotion with it, at least in my experience. As this is a fairly old quote, I used an antiquated definition of exalt (to fill with a noble emotion).

The quote says that by being humble, and acting in a humble manner, there is an emotion which comes to you. This activity, the quote says, will fill the heart with a noble or majestic emotion. I have been humble a few times in my life, and it truly is a great emotional experience. Wow! In remembering one of those times, the emotions just came rolling back. Confirmed; good stuff!

Why is humility important?  
Humility, and what constitutes it, can vary a bit from culture to culture, and your definition may differ from mine, but it’s fairly simple to me. Don’t brag, don’t boast, try to keep things low key. If anything, try to be a bit understated. Smile and pass the credit around and let others share in the lime-light.

In society, there is a place for the self-important, and those who like to brag about themselves. There are people who are good at self-promotion. But it is a very small place. Most people I know dislike these types of people, and prefer being with more humble people.

Humility is a form of social friction reducing agent, allowing people to interact more easily. How pleasant is it when a group of people are arguing over which amongst them is the most important person? Sounds like a great way to clear a room, right? Humility is the opposite of that, and I think that it is a good trait to have.

Where can I apply this in my life?
Ask yourself why people need to know that you did something, that you helped, that you were involved? What value does it add to anyone’s life besides your own? What is the benefit does mentioning your involvement provide to the activity in question? If you don’t have a good answer, perhaps it’s best to keep quiet.

The one possible exception might be at work, where you may find it necessary to make sure the boss knows that you have been doing something to earn your paycheck, right? But let’s not go overboard and claim more than you actually did. Honesty is another good character trait, right?

In order to be humble about something, you have to have done something. So the first step in being humble is to start doing things. They don’t have to be big things, but they should be helpful things. Then sit back and watch the spreading of happiness from your efforts. That might not sound very rewarding to the younger generations, but as you get older, you realize that living life isn’t about you, it’s about who you can help.

Grab some paper and write down at least a half dozen things you have done recently that were helpful or useful or beautiful in some manner. It can be anything from a normal job that was exceptionally well done to a job of which you are exceptionally proud. Note that there is a difference between being proud of something and being prideful.

How much boasting and self promotion accompanied the completion of the tasks on your paper? Please note that in some cases, such as for business purposes, it’s appropriate to make a little noise and draw some attention. But it can be done in a humble way, or it can be done in an arrogant and prideful way.

For each item on your list, consider your level of pride and boastfulness. How was it received by others? Did your actions add to or detract from what you had accomplished? Were you able to provide more help or less help because of how you handled the announcement of your accomplishment and how people reacted?

If you cook a great holiday meal, you can let the people eating it talk about how good it is, or you can talk about how good it is. Which one will find people still talking about your food the next day, and which will have people talking about your ego instead? Which of these outcomes makes you feel happy and warm inside, bringing you a wonderful feeling in your heart?

From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at :
Photo by familymwr


About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in character, contribution, doing, emotion, humility, pride and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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