The older I get the more fully I appreciate humility. By that I mean, the more fully I come to understand what is and is not proper to it.

The key to humility has nothing at all to do with imagining your own knowledge is less than it is. When you approach others, do it comfortable in yourself, knowing that you ‘bring something to the table’ – and ready to speak up for that thing. But you come first and foremost ready to listen – open to hear what they have to say, even if it is something which opposes your belief. Listen and try to learn. If it is arguments you have heard before, too often, then feel free to say so and to move on. If not, then acknowledge what you find there, and rejoice in it and the reworking of your own belief.

Humility is an assumption of good and wisdom in the other.


2 responses to “Humility

  1. so, did the (imagined) ‘they’ have anything new to say?

  2. rosemaryhannah

    Well, I thought I did. The ‘they’ appeared not to.

    Often it depends on the argument not being one where, like the ordination of women or gay marriage, sometimes both sides know all the arguments of the other by heart before starting.

    As a guide at Mount Stuart, I found some visitors knew, for a fact, that none of the guides had anything interesting of knowledgeable to say. This was not always so. We had Uni students who were studying history of art, older people who had made a study of especial features of the building and I knew a good deal about the 3rd Marquess, though not what I know now. We all got irritated by those who came in knowing they knew the lot, enjoyed those with special knowledge of, say, porcelain, and rejoiced in those who said: ‘Now, what would you like to tell me about this room?’

    After that I have tried hard to approach everybody as though they had something to offer. What provoked this post was being told I was wrong about history but sadly my ‘they’ did not actually have the facts at their disposal, just now, to contradict me.

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