View this post on Instagram
The world practices humility on the 22nd of February, also known as Be Humble Day—the same world that promotes an inflated sense of self more than anything else.
I use the word practice because, speaking from experience, I strongly believe that we, humans, tend to get carried away and unconsciously become arrogant; thus, humility is in fact a mindful spiritual practice.
We can clearly see that more and more people look down upon those who choose to have a low-profile, live simply, and rather serve than be served. Unfortunately, being humble is considered by many a sign of weakness and low self-esteem, when in fact, it ought to be associate with self-confidence, true inner strength, and satisfaction.
We are surrounded by generations of workaholics who believe the more you have the better you are and whenever someone decides not to jump aboard this crazy train, they are immediately looked down upon. We become so self-involved that we either no longer have time or become unable to see what’s really happening around us. Ads, today’s media, and society tell us that we should have the latest gadgets, fashion trends, home appliances, cars. However, even when we become aware and decide to be more mindful, it is not an easy thing to practice. In fact, it is a package, an “inside out” kind of thing.
I know this because I, myself, was an intellectual snob throughout my 20s and early 30s until I realized that I was building an image that was far from who I truly am, a hologram that isn’t real and cannot be touched. I understood that it all came down to the fact that I was raised in a society too ignorant to admit that we are not only equal but also impermanent.
I had to experience being broke and broken to realize that I am not the things I own or the connections I have. I can keep polishing a fake image and pumping that ego of mine or I can roll up my sleeves and start doing what needs to be done during my short stay on Earth.
The thing is keeping both feet on the ground needs maintenance and reminders like any other practice.
Here are 10 ways that helped me come a long way in practicing the art of humility, despite the fact that I am still struggling in some areas:
1. Work more, own less.
2. Keep a low profile on social media.*
3. Carry myself and dress humbly.
4. Lead without a title.
5. Use things, love people.
6. Learn to accept help and let myself be vulnerable.
7. Listen and read twice as much as I talk, text, or write (boy do I struggle in this area).
8. Volunteer, pay it forward, and give back any way I can.
9. Be honest with others, but with myself first.
10. Celebrate others’ success genuinely, like it had been mine.
The moment we realize how fleeting this life is, we understand that whatever possessions we have are not ours. We are not what we have, but we can be what we do. We tend to forget what really matters because it’s only human and natural. Being unemployed at one point in my life was an eye-opener. I still recall how I started reading, meditating, walking in nature, praying, connecting with loved ones, writing—you know, the things that do not require any money to enjoy and yet are more enjoyable than anything else.
In conclusion, the thing that motivates us the most to stay on the path of humbleness, even though we are all tempted to inflate that big ego of ours, is seeing the truth, how eventually we are all connected, from the same source, impermanent, and yet eternal.
*Note: We sometimes post to boast without taking into consideration that it might affect other people who are struggling. I have become more careful the day I realized that posting what is beneficial and sharing our happy moments genuinely with our friends without being oblivious to other people’s feelings is the best policy in this regard.
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” ~ C.S. Lewis