A little while ago (in November of last year), I wrote here about humility and my absurd lack of it as a character trait. It was such a deficiency back then that I even wrote, “I think the lack of this trait (in it’s purest and truest form) really was and still is my biggest weakness – or at least one of them”. Combined with that (my own) realization of non-humility was a conversation I had with someone whose opinion I value that told me (in a very nice way) “you need to become acquainted with real humility. Not just to know what it is in general terms, but to really understand it and feel it”. So, I made a personal goal to become the most humble person ever. I vowed that there would be nobody better at being humble than me. I wanted to be the best at being humble.
Now it’s July, and coincidentally after quoting myself, I am happy to report that I have worked very hard on my humility over the past few months – and I think I have successfully become much more humble. In fact, I might be eligible for the “most improved humility award”. If nothing else, I am way more humble than I used to be. Like…. way more. In fact, my humility has increased to the point that I can look around and be confident that I am more humble than most of the people that I see. I have come so far in so little time.
Then today something weird happened. It was like someone changed the rules for acquiring humility without telling me; or at least someone tried to add something to the rulebook that wasn’t there before because what I read today was so different that it just sounded wrong. I had spent the past several months focusing on my humility, my improvement, and my progress – including how the effects of my focus and improvement had further increased my humility – only to read that “true humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” 1
Because I had recently spent a lot of time thinking about myself and working on my own humility (which took a lot of time thinking less of myself), I knew that anything that told me to worry about other people in order to increase my humility must be incorrect; after all, how could worrying about or trying to solve other people’s problems help with my humility? So, I read it again sure that I had indeed misread it the first time. Then I read it again, and again, and again just to be sure I hadn’t suffered a mild stroke and lost the ability to comprehend sentences – because I am also a really good reader.
That was when I put 2 and 2 together to make 5 because there was no way that focusing and worrying and caring about other people, helping them with all their problems, making sure that they have everything they need, and helping them achieve all of their goals could help me at all – in fact, if I listened to that advice and spent all of my time doing things for others I wouldn’t have any time to worry about myself or work on my own humility, which means I would never improve myself or get to tell people how successful my quest for humility has been by writing a blog post.
So, in an effort to become yet even more humble, I will be spending all of my free time working individually on my own humility, because you never know when the Lord will need a super duper humble guy, and I for one want to be ready and operating at the peak level of humility for when he calls.
1 CS Lewis wrote this in Mere Christianity