There’s a lot to be said for being humble. Let’s just define what I mean by humble – because it has a lot of different connotations depending how arrogant you are.
I define humble as not being arrogant. How’s that for a circular argument? OK, let’s start again; I think that being humble is associated with a number of other qualities – being quietly spoken and certain of your position in life, showing confidence but not overly so, being polite and considerate to others, regardless of their behaviour around you or those you love, showing respect to others whether or not they have earned it, avoiding bragging and acknowledging others’ help in achieving your successes.
A lot of internet fame and fortune is, in my eyes, bought at the expense of others. To be humble doesn’t mean that you don’t celebrate your successes , far from it – you do so with obvious happiness but in doing so you celebrate with those around you, showing them you appreciate the role they played in your success. Before you think you are capable of doing everything on your own, think again. I’m writing this on a laptop which was manufactured for me by another company, comprised of thousands of hard working people who work together to make a product I know and love. The laptop runs an operating system that has been continually revised to make sure it’s cutting edge and these upgrades have been provided for free.
I use publishing software which is free, run on a server which is incredibly cheap as a result of others working hard to consolidate their purchasing and configuration power into making servers fast, cheap and accessible. Anything I write on this site which is popular (eventually, I hope) had sprung out of my mind but the only way I can get it to you, dear reader, is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Everything I do in my day to day life is based on the actions of others, and I am at pains to make sure that they know that. I can create whole new streams of business at work, but the trust the customers place is not just in me, but the reputation that has been built by many others before me. I define humbleness as the core part of my being because it grounds me and makes me aware of my place in the world. Through this, I can stand tall and be confident, knowing that in doing so I have a team of people around me that are supportive of me as I am of them.
I can go home and be loved even when I am ill and cranky, my son will fall asleep in my arms because I offer him a warm and comfortable place to be that he can trust, and when he falls asleep I know that my role in life is complete.
Being humble, to me, is about offering support, warmth and love to others before I seize it all for myself. It’s about being aware that I am one of many people, and together we define what happens in this world.