Power of humility

Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box – Italian proverb.

 

The farther a man knows himself to be from perfection, the nearer he is to it – Gerard Groote.

 

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children – Kahlil Gibran

 

All quotes on that great virtue called humility.  I can never have enough of that.  Then I read Chuck Gallozi on Why are we so gullible – 

 

…”[One] reason is we can’t face the truth. We’re too weak to accept the fact that not all of life’s questions have answers. We want stability, security, and answers. And we would rather find what we hope for or already believe than the truth. We’re willing to sacrifice the truth whenever it makes us feel uncomfortable.  I quote Plato here – “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

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If we seek the light of truth, we need to strike a balance between skepticism and open-mindedness. Broadmindedness is called for because every new truth is first ridiculed, then opposed, and finally accepted as self-evident. So, we need time to weigh the evidence. Isn’t it true that we can’t make progress unless we arrive at new conclusions? Yet, skepticism is equally important. Each false belief we cling to diverts us from the truth and wastes precious time.

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To discover the truth we need to wear the cloak of humility, for we cannot advance until we realize there is much we do not know. Indeed, there is much we cannot know. However, if we accept that there is truth in opposing views and that the truth is shared by all, we can learn a great deal more. Charles Caleb Colton (1780 ~ 1832) offered this sage advice, “The greatest friend of truth is Time, her greatest enemy is Prejudice, and her constant companion is Humility.” The search for truth is never-ending because our understanding of it is ever evolving. That’s why Andre Gide (1869 ~ 1951) advised, “Believe those who are seeking truth, doubt those who find it.”

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When we discover the truth, we must not brandish it about proudly and act superior, for as Albert Einstein (1879 ~ 1955) wrote, “Desire for approval and recognition is a healthy motive, but the desire to be acknowledged as better, stronger or more intelligent than a fellow being or fellow scholar easily leads to an excessively egoistic psychological adjustment, which may become injurious for the individual and for the community.”

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Let’s experience the beauty and joy of truth by accepting things as they are rather than as we wish them to be.

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 Sweet.  How high do you figure on your humility index…?

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