Humility is the quality of being modest and respectful. From as early as I can remember, parents, family, and friends have drilled into my head the importance of being humble. Since humility is a virtue held high by many religions, we know why a large majority of the world finds it a valuable quality. But for those who aren’t religious, humility is usually explained by contrasting oneself with someone who is not humble.
For example, say you’re walking down a sidewalk and a guy speeds by in a Porsche convertible with the speakers blaring and a beautiful girl in the passenger seat. Most people would consider him cocky or a show off; thus, not humble. The same goes for a person who buys many homes, cars, and flaunts their wealth or achievements in any other way. From an early age, most children are encourage to look at this negatively, and believe that this behavior is beneath any successful and virtuous person.
Now as a young adult, I’m constantly looking around at my peers and introspectively at myself, trying to discover what qualities and characteristics I hold and desire. Humility, at the moment, is not one of them. The reason being is not because I find it attractive to be overly ostentatious and flaunt every little thing I have, but more so because I find humility to be a complete anti motivator for myself and others. Put more simply, humility is dependent on achievement.
Without having achieved something, that person has nothing to be humble about, and there for it is a worthless quality. In my short life, I have done many things – unique experiences, met important people, and been extraordinary places – however, these things were most all given to me. This makes my greatest achievement simply my ability to show up to the party!
Why I find humility to be a anti motivator, though, is because to often do I see people looking condescendingly at those who do visibly exhibit their achievements. Thus, they justify their lack of activity and achievement because they view themselves as not exhibiting that behavior and therefore, humble. This encourages people to look negatively upon achievement and be satisfied with their current and comfortable situation.
If you disagree, think about if humility was NOT encouraged. Imaging a society where everyone was encouraged to flaunt and showoff every little thing they own – it be like we were living in a rap music video…but seriously – people would then be more motivated to work towards obtaining things that they would be able to flaunt, thus achievement would be more valued.