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Thrive Newsletter - Issue #35 - The Positive Side of Honest Humility Edition
Pride comes and goes but humility grounds and sustains...
I have been pondering humility again this past week.
My favorite example of humility is knowing that my fingerprints are unique to humanity. Not a single person has my fingerprints. Many of us will run around celebrating that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” as our unique fingerprints lend credence to and stop there.
That’s all fine and dandy. But humility reminds me that currently, on the planet, 8 Billion other people also have unique fingerprints.
hu·mil·i·ty noun — a modest or low view of one's own importance; humbleness. "he needs the humility to accept that their way may be better" (Definitions from Oxford Languages.
My meditations this week are on what I consider the most critical phrase in that definition “…one’s own importance.” You can’t have authentic humility if you do not truly know your importance.
I am in the technical support field and am a leader on our team. There is another leader who knows everything about our job, backward and forwards. Have a 17-step problem that blows up every other step? I would probably need to double-check our tools and information, take ten deep breaths and pray for mercy. But this other leader will know the answer immediately and determine 8 of those 17 steps aren’t necessary.
That said, I am pretty darn good with empathy and how to help people feel seen, heard, and understood while fixing their technical problems. I can interpret what the person in crisis is trying to say and meet them where they are with a listening ear. I often help with corporate escalations and very upset people and am recognized by our company (with a prestigious award) as one of the best in our field along those lines.
Why yes, yes, that is a humble brag :) I worked hard for that recognition where humility steps in and reminds me that I have a lot of help and a great team. None of that would have happened without their training me through their expertise, support, and friendship.
While very different in temperament and skills, the other leader I mentioned and I are great at what we do because we know our own importance. But we would not be anywhere as strong of a team if he didn’t defer to my views in some situations, and I actively seek out his views. Plus, I can be someone’s best technical friend all day, but that doesn’t mean boo if I don’t know how to fix their issue. On the other hand, the right answer delivered the wrong way can cause things to go sideways quickly. I know my importance to the team, but I know I won’t shine if I don’t have my team to bounce off of, teach me, and back me up.
And that goes for the rest of my life, as well. We are all incredibly important, but having a healthy perspective of that importance (humility) makes community happen and helps us grow individually.
Pride has its place, for sure. Pride is like a plant’s flowers blooming; nothing wrong with a glorious moment. Humility, though, is the plant’s roots, without which nothing would happen. Humility is the core strength where health can grow and create reasons to have pride. Pride comes and goes but humility grounds and sustains.
Thank you for reading!
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