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Word of the Week: Humility
Georgia Military College Prep School
Word of the Week: Humility
Week of November 8 - 14, 2015
Definition: The state or quality of being free from pride and arrogance.
“Life is a long lesson in humility.” – James M. Barrie
“We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.” - Rabindranath Tagore
“Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.” - Thomas Merton
“I believe the first test of a truly great man is in his humility.” - John Ruskin
“I always say be humble but be firm. Humility and openness are the key to success without compromising your beliefs.” - George Hickenlooper
“Humility, like darkness, reveals the heavenly lights.” - Henry David Thoreau
Let’s Get to the Point:
Humility. It is a medicine that may not taste good going down, but is one of those life lessons that stays with us long after we swallow it. A wrong word or action can cause us great pain in our pride because we can be humiliated by our actions. Every one of us has had a serving of humble pie because of something foolish we did. We show this virtue when we recognize our own short comings in life. Remember when you broke something important to your mom and how it made you feel when you took the blame for doing it – and maybe not blaming it on someone or something else?
Putting Words into Action:
Mistakes teach us lessons. Sometimes those mistakes hurt us and those around us. Many times our mistakes are hard to swallow. But it if were not for these lessons, we could not grow. Humility is a something we all grow from when we use it. Having to approach someone you respect with your hat in your hand for charity donation is hard thing to do.
Think About It:
I found this parable while writing this week’s WOW that helps define humility. The renowned master, Hasan of Basra, teased a child who was lighting a candle. "Little one, tell me where did this magical flame come from?" The child instantly blew out the candle and asked, "You tell me, where did the flame go?" This awakened something deep in him. The little child, he said, was a big teacher. This story demonstrates how, when we are humble of heart, we become aware of hidden teachers everywhere and in everything.
While choosing my Word of the Week reflection, the one word that stuck out to me was Humility. As an athlete discovering the difference between confidence and humility can take a while. Humility is shown by avoiding self-praise, and giving the spotlight to teammates, coaches, and most importantly to God. Humble people don’t take the credit when everything is going right, but take ownership when things go wrong.
Nowadays one cannot turn on ESPN and not see a player who isn’t bragging, pointing at their jersey number, taking cheap shots or showing unsportsmanlike conduct. It is extremely rare to see athletes, praising teammates after wins, showing officials and opponents respect or not talking smack. Athletes are finding it more difficult to show humility and easier it is to display pride.
As a two time State Champion in softball and State Champion in track, I get acknowledged a lot for my athletic ability. But I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today without God. It is overwhelmingly hard at times to not be prideful and take a step back and realize where I stand compared to everything God has accomplished.
One thing about sports is you never know when it could be your last play, last goal, or for me last time stepping on a field or the track. If you consistently choose pride over humility, I can assure you God will eventually humble you and break you down but, it is in that process of brokenness that he builds you up to be the best person you can possibly be. “Humility beats pride every time.”
C/1SG Sutton Long is a student at Georgia Military College Prep School