Humility, Compassion, and Gratitude

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As with everything in life, I believe that we will continue to encounter it until we learn our lesson, find our gratitude or gain our strength from it. For instance I have had so many of the exact same message, slightly reworded stream across my social media sights that I am thinking Someone is trying to tell me something. I suppose the conversations over the past week are no different. Three different discussions with three people whose perspective I respect greatly, two from my inner circle and a neighbor have made me think I need to consider the topics.

The topic of humility, the importance of being humble is one that keeps permeating the conversations. I could not agree more, it is essential to understand your positon in the greater picture, knowing what we can give as well as the worth of ourselves and others in that picture; being modest, respectful, essentially being humble which can feed compassion.  Being humble is a virtue that is in less supply in today’s world, we see that fact in the workplace, in our academic settings, in the supermarket and even in some homes which may be a direct result of the misconception that it is weakness. It takes strength to move toward humbleness, to give selflessly to others, to know your own limitations takes great strength. Humility and compassion come in many forms, you can be humble enough lay ones own needs aside for a moment and help others, to focus on our own failure and admit the shortcoming working to rectify the reason it did not work, being humble allows us to easily ask questions, to focus on the strength within ourselves and the fact that we do not hold all the strength we need to succeed, it allows us to be of service to others.

Practicing acts of humility allow us to grow our compassion and gratitude. This being a tenant of the major religions is no err, it is essential to the human spirit. I have found that in times of personal strife when I struggle to quiet the mind and spirit if I take time to help others, a simple act of dinner for someone or time to help in any form, it allows me to pause, focusing elsewhere later returning to my challenges I find new perspective.  Practicing even a small act of humility allows you to grow your compassion and can help you develop gratitude in the moment.  A grateful person has a humble heart for if we relinquish our arrogance and pride, we can receive a blessing with a grateful heart, and humbly return them back into the world.

It takes courage to allow this to also come full circle. For while it takes strength to renounce pride and give humbly, it also takes courage to find your own weakness and stand before someone and accept their act of humility. For the majority of my life I was conditioned to never show weakness for it was only fodder for the fire of someone else’s hatred and anger; to return to me as a projectile in some unnamed war.  I have struggled to accept acts of compassion and kindness out of fear, I suppose I held tight to that part of my pride, standing behind it as a shield of sorts. The bravery it takes to look within one’s self and see what is needed, the strength it takes to share those needs with others is an incredibly humbling act; for we are not intended to drift through life alone without support and love.  Having been blessed with a safe environment to show my vulnerability I have learned  gratitude and compassion that now fuels my humility, seeing the cycle come full circle at times is a gift not a danger.

It takes strength to move past the ego, pride, and arrogance to begin to practice humility. It takes courage to set aside our past experiences and face fear to learn a new way, that all offers are not dangerous, but are just acts of kindness and compassion offered from a humble heart.

“‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.”  – Alice Walker

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