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Enthusiastic Humility

Friday, 21 June, 2019 - 12:13 pm

How do you picture the humble person?

Ambitious and driven to success? Or lacking presence and self-confidence, an easily manipulated wallflower shyly averting his/her gaze?  
Let’s take a Torah look at the real-life application of humility.
G-d wants us to live energetically, to pro-actively tackle the world and bring it to a meaningful place. G-d also wants us to be humble. So, the two attitudes need to co-exist, and humility can’t mean shy passivity and submissiveness. 
Humility means being honest with yourself, and seeing yourself for who you really are.
Humility isn’t a self-effacing attitude, which denies – to yourself or others – your value, strengths and talents. That’s called self-doubt. And it usually involves self-deception. 
Humility is different. The humble person is fully aware of his/her talents; one is fully conscious of one’s blessings – genetic, familial/societal or financial. 
Humility is about the attitude with which you approach your gifts and talents, not denying them.
We all need to look at ourselves and take honest stock of our G-d-given ‘toolbox,’ the gifts with which we’ve been endowed. Then we need to recognize that each of those life-advantages comes with a responsibility.

G-d grants us gifts for a purpose. Each of your strengths is a call to action, beckoning you “develop me, utilize me, make into a conduit for meaningful living.” So you and I need to look at each one of our gifts and ask: Am I doing you justice? 
I need to honestly consider the possibility that others would have accomplished more with my tools. 
I also need to consider that people without my specific talents, my tools, have simply been dealt a different tool box. That’s G-d’s business, not mine.
To a humble person, the real measure of life isn’t which tools we’ve each been dealt; it’s what we’re doing with them.
So humility is a sense of responsibility: I need to be who G-d created me to be. I’m humbler when I’m not competing against others, but against my own potential. I’m humbler when I look for new opportunities to be the best I can be. 
Humility. Now there’s an ambition.

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