I have heard a countless number of times that humility is a virtue and haughtiness is a vice. My mum always counselled my siblings and I on the need to be humble, and she knew there was the tendency for us to be haughty because of the material things we had. These would have made it easy for us to look down on others who had less than we did. To help ingrain within us the virtue of humility, my mum always told us that everyone we meet knows at least one thing that we do not know.
Throughout the years I have really found this to be true. I usually ask people I meet, “What is the greatest lesson you have learnt in life so far?” Sometimes I receive similar answers, but when I ask how they learnt that lesson, every single one of these people had a different answer. By virtue of these people, I have learnt so much about life experiences that would have taken me years to learn on my own.
This advice is not a difficult one to follow when you are dealing with a person higher than you in terms of age, educational qualification, experience or organisational position. It is the opposite that is really a challenge… Dealing someone ‘lesser’ than you are. It requires real effort to condescend and let yourself be ‘taught’ by a person below your ‘status’.
By keeping in mind the truth that everyone you meet knows something you do not know helps you to be humble and makes available to you the knowledge and experiences that others have taken years to acquire.
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