How can I develop humility?

We all tend to evaluate other people in terms of our own strengths and ignore the fact that they have many capacities that we lack. When we see this trait in other people, it appears humorous but we rarely reflect that it is something we all do. It is a common habit of the human ego. Taken to the extreme, one young man said that he was better than anyone else because he liked milk more than other people. Hard to argue with his infallible logic and impossible to disprove his proposition! In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Lady Catherine asserts her superiority by reflecting that had she ever learned to play the piano, which she never did, she would have been a great musician! There is a remedy which any sincere person can apply. It is to sincerely look for and admire the strong points in other people and see that by those criteria they are far superior to us. One may be a good talker, while another is a great listener. One may be a quick thinker, while another is sensitive to the feelings of other people. One may have the courage to lead, while another has the good sense and humility to follow a good leader without protest. One is good technically, another with abstract ideas or taking genuine interest in other people. The reality is that every human being – no matter how superior we may feel – has pronounced strengths that others lack. Even the thief needs capacities to succeed in his profession! Learn to look at the capacities of human nature as a wonder of spherical perfection and you will discover that each of us is only a tiny point on the globe. That knowledge is what the wise refer to as humility and it is one of the greatest attributes of wisdom.

A broader approach to developing a realistic self-evaluation is to assess your personality against a comprehensive standard. Unfortunately, such a standard does not exist and there is no broad agreement even on all the parameters it should include. It may be helpful to conceive of the sum total of human capacities and levels of accomplishment as a sphere and to imagine ourselves as a dot or point located somewhere within the sphere, more developed in some dimensions and less developed in others. One of the objectives of Human Science wiki is to develop a model which includes all the major dimensions along which human beings can advance in their evolution and develop scales to help individuals assess their present status on each dimension. garry 05:27, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

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