Posted by: justrememberthebasics | March 19, 2008

On Humility

Consider the air we breathe, the water we need, the food we consume, or the blood that flows through our veins.  We are so dependent on these things, absolutely lifeless without them, yet can take no credit for their existence.  Despite these indisputable facts, sadly, we humans can be such vain – prideful – egotistical– self absorbed creatures.

Think about the case for being humble:  We’ve had no role in our existence … suddenly we’re alive; the gift of life is given.  From conception, nutrients are provided in the womb.  Upon birth, we gasp for air and our awaiting lungs are full.  Throughout infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood food, water, light and oxygen sustain us.  We’ve had no part in our creation or the existence of these fundamental necessities of life.

Yet, all too often humility, meekness, humbleness and genuine gratitude are “lost in the shuffle” of life.  Are we remembering the basics?  Are we considering that even with the great technological advances of mankind that we have had so little impact on the core necessities that sustain life?  Have we pondered that every invention, development, discovery and cure, as impressive as they might be, is really only the rearranging of the “elements” that have been provided to us and pre-existed with all of their inherent characteristics?

How effective are our laptops, iPods and flat screens without the gift of electricity?  Where is our global economy without the oil that lies deep beneath the ocean floor and the earth’s surface?  How plentiful is our diet – our wardrobe – the décor of our homes without the plants and animals that populate the earth?  Yes, just as the small child takes building blocks and rearranges those into various configurations, humanity does the same with the building blocks of life.  But for the blocks themselves we can take no credit

What can the talented, driven athlete do without water?  How brilliant can the diligent, committed scholar be without food?  How will the ambitious, visionary inventor succeed without being able to rely on the natural laws?  Will the entrepreneur ever realize the goal without the dependable laws of mathematics?

Of course, these are rhetorical questions.  We know the answers.  The key is to remember what we know; and for our behavior to reflect what we know.  Our very lives are gifts.  We are sustained by the necessary gifts that surround us.  By extension, our successes and accomplishments should be cherished, but also held in perspective, enjoyed but never flaunted.

With humility and meekness, let gratitude squelch vanity and pride.


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