Is being humble out of fashion? Looking at values trending it would seem so. These days self-worth seem to be in a toxic mix with pride. We are being conditioned by the competitive environment we are progressing in. Being humble is being squeezed out by self-importance and self-absorption.
We are all parts of the ecosystem of life. We are important contributors to this competitive environment; what we do impact the balance of life. We must contribute positively to this balance by behaving only in ways that promote harmony. We must recognise that we co-exist with other persons; what we do will impact them. Our self- worth comes from this ecosystem. We may be just one out of billions of people but we matter. This is our worthiness. We are good enough to make an impact.
To be humble is first to acknowledge our need to co-exist with every other person. In the harsh reality of this world, there is every chance that the ‘other person’ will let us down and upset our harmony. To be humble is to give the ‘other person’ more space. Giving space does not mean degrading our self. It means only to reduce our self-importance. We will be surprised how much space that takes up in is.
As a simple example, every person has opinions. Many times we won’t agree and we simply won’t give in. But opinions on their own can co-exist, there is enough space. It is self-importance and pride that want to make ours the only opinion. Being humble help us to see that we are fighting many unnecessary battles in life. Being humble will lead us out of such foolishness into greater wisdom.
When we make space for the other person we accept the other persons for who they are. When we make space we also highlight to our self that many times our own opinions and actions are causing disharmony to the people around us. Being humble is pro-actively contributing to the balance of this ecosystem of life.
The natural balance of life comes the virtue of love. True love is self-giving. Humility is a virtue that is the gateway into this greater virtue of love. Without humility, true love cannot exist. Forgiveness is often the vehicle of true love. When there is no forgiveness, there will be no space for the other person. And we cannot forgive when we are not humble.
To be humble is a life transforming choice. It is a question of whether we want to live this life only for our self. Is there a greater meaning? For some it becomes a question of faith.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Last Sunday’s Gospel)
To go deeper into this virtue of being humble is to question our creation. Do I believe in a God who made me? For me it is a simple, “I do.” For I am sized tiny like a micro-organism in this huge world I live in. Yet, I have often been affirmed for my self-worth. Being humble is a good bacteria that will contribute to the harmonious balance of this ecosystem of life.
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time