Consciously trying to acquire humility can be problematic. I remember once hearing that “if you think you have it, you don’t. We should try to develop humility and be sure we didn’t know when we got it, and then we would have it. But if we ever thought we had it, we wouldn’t."
Consider the climate that would exist within a marriage or family—or any organization, for that matter—if through genuine humility mistakes were freely admitted and forgiven, if we were not afraid to praise others for fear they might gain on us, and if all were able to listen as well as we now verbalize.
I think sometimes of what life would be like if we all possessed greater humility.
Imagine a world in which we would replace I as the dominant pronoun.
Think of the impact on the pursuit of knowledge if being learned without being arrogant were the norm.
One wonders how differently even recent world history might be written if its principal participants had yielded to the gentle nudgings of humility.
I like the English author John Ruskin’s memorable statement that “the first test of a truly great man is his humility.” He continued: “I do not mean, by humility, doubt of his own power. … [But really] great men … have a curious … feeling that … greatness is not in them, but through them. … And they see something Divine … in every other man … , and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.”
True humility will inevitably lead us to say to God, “Thy will be done.”