Humility is a virtue. It is the quality of keeping one’s self under control. It is the opposite of being pound. A person who possesses this quality is humble and meek. A humble person is the master of himself. He is not stubborn. He is ready to accept other people’s advice and learn from their experience. He is not annoyed with anybody. A proud person gets angry easily, when something offends him. A humble person does not get angry easily. He admits his mistakes and short-comings politely. A proud person does not admit his faults easily. He gets annoyed and blames others for his own mistakes. A proud person is stubborn and angry. He does not value other person’s suggestions and ideas.
In fact pride and anger, meekness and humility are human attitudes. Attitudes are the expressions of a person and are developed or cultivated slowly over a number of years. They indicate the mental make up and the upbringing of a person.
Ferdinand de Lesseps was a famous engineer. He planned and executed the construction of the Suez Canal. His plan was successful and the execution of the canal was successfully completed. He was very proud of his engineering competence and skill. He boasted about it and showed it to others.
Next he was asked to plan and execute the construction of Panama Canal. He was so proud of his ability and engineering competence that he ignored the suggestions of the young engineers. He would laugh away their valuable suggestions. The young engineers suggested to him to use the system of locks and gates which were necessary keeping in view the inclination of the terrain, but Ferdinand was haughty and proud. He was not all humble and meek. He considered his knowledge and experience superior to those of the others. He followed his own plant in the construction of the canal. His plan was a failure. IT has to be abandoned resulting in a colossal loss of labor and money in the execution of his plan.
Later the suggestion of the young engineers was implemented. It was a great success. Ferdinand-de-Lessepes had to eat his humble pie, because he did not accept the advice of the young engineers and local people with humility.
Humility or meekness implies gentleness and kindness. You treat others as you equals and see their worth. You give proper importance and consideration to the views of the others. A proud person is selfish and self-centered. He does not care for the views of the others. He is inclined to thrust his own point of view. He treats other people’s views and ideas as threat to himself and reacts violently or angrily. A proud or haughty person becomes unpleasant and unapproachable. On the other hand humility and meekness teach gentleness and kindness. A humble person is not hot-headed and he can be approached easily.
Success can go to one’s head, as was the case with Ferdinand-de-Lessepes. Then there is no humility no restraint and no admitting of faults. One becomes haughty and believes that he can make no mistake. People dislike such a person. When a proud person makes a mistake he covers it up with lies or thrusts his own faults on others or his juniors. A proud person wants to be the center of attraction for others. He becomes irrational, insulting, imposing and overbearing.
A humble of meek person avoids attracting the attention of others. He is thoughtful because he is not self-centered. He has consideration for other’s views and is even tempered. He consults others and seeks their advice. He is not over-ridden by others’ views, but draws his own conclusions. A humble person is not a puppet in the hands of others. He is considerate for others and he does not hurt anybody’s feelings. He is gentle and well-mannered.
Dr. Ranjendra Prasad, the first Rashtrapati of free India was a fine example of humility. He was a member of the Constitution Making Committee which was responsible for farming the constitution of free India, yet he was not proud. Whenever there was a convention of the Indian National Congress, he did not seek an important post. He often joined the volunteers. He was so humble that he served water or rendered other helps to the delegates. This was very striking for the visitors. He was a very senior leader and could claim any important post, but in extreme humility he did not hesitate to accept to be an ordinary volunteer
Very often your temperament influences your attitude. To be calm or angry, cool or excited depends on your attitude. Humility cleverness and smartness. If you inculcate an attitude of humility in the other person, he will become humble. Not to say sorry for your lapses will mean to the other person that you are proud and don’t care for him.
Suppose you dash into some person by mistake. The other person will be hurt and take it ill. If you humbly say, “I am sorry”. The other person will be moved. He will smile away and won’t mind it. He will be ready to pardon you. You have shown humility and the other person will also be humble and modest.
In case you do something wrong to another person deliberately, only saying sorry will not be enough. You have to make amends. When you make up for it sincerely, it shows to the other person that you are really humbly and admit your fault. The other person comes round to forgive you, because of your humility in the minds of the other people. If you do not realize your faulty a grudge remains in the minds of the other people. It spoils friendship and embitters relations. A humble or modest person has a humble and objective estimate about himself. By his humility and meekness he averts ill feeling and its consequences. A humble person is optimist and always sees the brighter side of the things.