Humility

A man received a promotion to the position of Vice President of the company he worked for. The promotion went to his head, and for weeks on end he bragged to anyone and everyone that he was now VP. His bragging came to an abrupt halt when his wife, so embarrassed by his behavior, said, “Listen Bob, it’s not that big a deal. These days everyone’s a vice president. Why they even have a vice president of peas down at the supermarket!”

Somewhat deflated, Bob rang the local supermarket to find out if this was true. “Can I speak to the Vice President of peas please?” he asked, to which the reply came: “of fresh or frozen?”          -unknown

The second pillar of Joy in The Book of Joy by Douglas Abrams is humility.  Humility is a funny thing. It is not something we can claim to have, but everyone around you knows if you have it.  Being humble makes you naturally approachable and allows you to easily connect with other people.  This can help you be much more effective, in your relationships, at work and creating new opportunities.

The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu remind us that we are all human, we are all born the same way and we will all die the same.  True that some people are born with talents or gifts, but as humans we can all aspire to great things.

I really like the point that the Dalai Lama makes:  “none of us are immune to the human traits of pride or ego, but arrogance really comes from insecurity.  The need to feel we are bigger than another comes from a nagging fear that we are smaller in some way.”  The Archbishop Tutu then warned that at times we confuse humility with timidity.  Holding back our gifts gives little glory to the one who has blessed us with them.  Humility is the recognition that our gifts are from God and not fully developed on our own.  Humility also allows you to celebrate the gifts that other people have. If you want to see joy on someone’s face, give them a heartfelt compliment.  Celebrate one of their gifts and you will make their day.

Humility does not mean you should deny your own gifts.  I think this is beautifully said by the Archbishop, “God uses each of us in our own unique way, and even if you are not the best one, you may be the one who is needed.”

It is through humility that we can accept Joy.  If you truly think you are the best at something and believe if you are not the best then you are nothing, you are in for a sad life.  No athlete is the best forever and no business stays at the top.  Look at gravity, what goes up must come down.   This is the nature of life.  Instead we should accept the gifts given to us, use them to the best of our ability and enjoy the ride!!

Next pillar is humor, the pressure is on to find a great joke….

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