In a world where value and success appears to be measured in status, wealth and beauty, to speak of humility seems to be a far cry from achieving power. But when seeking to live in our world with true authentic power, a deep intrinsic love of kindness is required.
How can a humble person be powerful when so many in our world are rewarded for boasting judgment and opinionated beliefs? How can humility help us be happy resilient people? Where is the reward and where is the power? World renowned author and teacher Gary Zukoff says it best in this blog article entitled “Humbleness”.
A humble person walks in a familiar world. He or she sees friends everywhere he or she looks, wherever he or she goes, with whomever he or she meets. His or her perception goes beyond the shell of appearance and into essence. He or she sees the attributes of people around him or her – big body, small body, strong body, weak body, quick intellect, slow intellect, yellow skin, brown skin, male or female, young or old – and on and on – as costumes. He or she does not believe that anyone will change this costume at the end of the day, but he or she also knows that everyone will leave it behind at the end of a lifetime. Ashes will return to ashes, and dust will return to dust. That is the way it is with costumes. They do not last forever. They do not even last very long – a century at best and much less for most people. The soul is a different story. The soul is immortal.
So the humble person is not as interested in these temporary clothes as in what is wearing them. The soul is wearing them. When a friend walks into the room with a dress or suit that you do not like, do you stop liking your friend? You know about her. You know her challenges, hopes, and aspirations. You know how difficult her life is, as is yours, and that it also has experiences of elation, joy, and contentment, or at least how much she wants to have these experiences. You cannot feel superior to her because you know how much your life is like hers. The humble person sees everyone as a friend because he or she knows that everyone’s life is as complex and as difficult as his or her own. How could he or she ever push anyone away who is on the same challenging journey that he or she is on, and so often struggling just as hard. That is what makes the world friendly to a humble person. He or she sees the soul that is wearing the costume and he or she loves that soul, even if the personality (costume) is difficult to be around for too long, or is angry, or jealous.
The next time you feel less than someone else, inadequate, or inferior, remember that “humbleness” doesn’t have anything to do with those experiences any more than it means lowering yourself to make a connection. There are no lower levels to a humble person. There are no higher levels, either. There are only souls. There is only love. Humbleness is one of the great gifts of authentic power – and you give it to yourself.
Gary Zukoff blog article “Humbleness”.