500 Words On The Importance Of Humility
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Student Life

500 Words On The Importance Of Humility

Put aside the spotlight and learn to say "thank you."

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500 Words On The Importance Of Humility
Debra's Kitchen

In a world where it seems as though pride is handed through the pleats of colored ribbons, medals, and framed papers of accomplishment, being humble can be hard. As little kids we’re taught to do nothing but climb the ladder of success, we put one foot above the other and visualize our future self with a bolded title of “you made it!”, and we forget that most of the time we owe our success to the people around us. I’ve been in countless offices where framed diplomas hang - reflecting that person’s hard work and countless caffeinated nights, my friends have walls of soccer/swimming/debate awards, each stacked from year-to-year like a yearbook of past nerves and screaming joy, and even my own room is plagued with awards as little as perfect attendance to a crisp graduation diploma from high school.

However, it’s tantalizing to remember that varsity jacket letters, glassy plaques, and metallic awards won’t mean much if you lack humility. If someone tells you “good job” or “congrats”, do you take it as a chance to explain your own achievement to revel in the glory just one more time, or do you say a deep-rooted thank you? Victories and songs of triumph feel good when they’re done with the image of you. Everyone knows it and craves it all too well: the rush of adrenaline pumping through your body pairs perfectly with the way the lights are lit up with your name, and it’s you you you for the few eccentric moments of glory of whatever you’re doing. Maybe it’s your last race of the season, or getting the best grade on an anticipated speech in front of your class, or finally getting that job promotion. With each success, it’s not your perseverance nor your talent that’s only being tested, but it’s your humility as well.

When you see the people around you, you don’t usually see their shadow outlined by each of their achieved goals and successes, you see them for the kindness, humor, and intelligence that lives in their heart. And when you congratulate them again and again on whatever they went above and beyond on, they shake their head and say thank you with the grace of someone who’s truly learned from failure but doesn’t live in its confining walls. We live on the short golden string of life with our arms stretch out by our sides to help keep our balance, and when we look down we don’t to just see our man-made accomplishments. We want to see the moments of kindness that has bloomed from the shiny and not so shiny moments of our time on this earth.

The difference in someone who’s humble lies in their ability to choose between doing something for the praise of others or for their own experience. Humility doesn’t feed off the compliments and tagged pictures of award ceremonies, it trudges through failures with open minds and outstretched patience. Humility doesn’t put it’s nose in the air nor does it stem from self-pride. Humility branches from the ability to say “thank you.”

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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