Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Indispensable Importance Of Humility And Pride

How good am I? How great can I be?

On one hand, we are conscious of our flaws and limitations. On the other hand, we like to believe that we have inside of us something special that sets us apart and above the rest.

Humility and pride. Two contrasting qualities, sitting at polar opposites. And yet, we need them both. In almost all facets of life. Huddling closely. Side by side. Spurring us on.

1. Seeking Knowledge And Shaping Your Belief System

Humility: There is a lot in the world that we don't know about, and may never ever know in our lifetime. And for the things we think we know, we may actually be wrong. As Socrates once said: "The only true wisdom is that you know nothing". Be humble of your ignorance.

Pride: From knowing nothing, strive to know more. Believe in what you know, even if what you know is incomplete. Never mind that others pour doubt and scorn. Build you own belief system, to best of your knowledge. Be proud of your beliefs.

Socrates would have been proud

2. Taking Action And Achieving Your Goals

Humility: Nobody is perfect. Despite all your talents and skills, you still will stumble, fall and hurt yourself. Things don't always go according to plan. Bad luck, wrong turns. In work, in love. So what? You can't get it right all the time. Embrace failure as a friend, mistake as a mentor. Be humble of your abilities.

Pride: The only thing that matters is reaching the top, not how many times you attempted a jump and fall short. As Buzz Lightyear once said: "Never give up, never surrender". Keep trying, and keep the faith that you'll make it each time you try. Don't sell yourself short. Don't be afraid to aim for the stars. Be proud of your potential.

3. Understanding People And Helping Those In Needs

Humility: Most people won't think highly of your opinion, simply because they value their own opinion more than yours or anyone else (as they rightly should - refer to Point 1 above). What works for you, may not work for others. Listen to their story. Feel their pain. See the world through your eyes. Don't be quick to jump to conclusions. Get the story right first. Be humble of your struggle to empathise.

Pride: Go ahead, offer help. They may reject your overtures, even resent you as a friend. But don't back down. Imagine yourself a doctor - will you stop a life-saving surgery because the protesting patient has a childhood phobia of needles and in too much pain to think straight? Of course not. Sometimes, you gotta be cruel to be kind. Go talk people out of their stupidity. Pull them back before they jump off a cliff. Be proud of your courage to help.

Best medical advice ever

Be Humble, Be Proud

Humility reminds us that we're not that great. Pride pushes us to be as great as we can be. If we're too humble, we'll always be grounded and too afraid to fly. If we're too proud, we'll fly too close to the sun and burn our wings.

Humility and pride. We need them both.

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