I remember the story of a friend of mine, named tony. Tony was well talented in music, he played all kind of musical instruments and he had an angelic voice. In short tony was an authority when it comes to music. As tony grew older, his fame began to spread across different states, money started coming in surplus and praises started flying from all angles.
The tony i used to know became the tony I once knew, he changed drastically. Tony still had the voice, the gift of playing different kind of instruments but he lost one virtue that eventually lead to his downfall. Tony lost the HUMILITY virtue, tony started raising shoulders, he believed he knew everything and he instantly became wiser than his teachers.
Tony became so proud because of the praise, money and the fame he got. Today, my dear tony is nowhere to be found among music elites because he lost this great virtue.
There is a strong and clear difference between self-confidence and pride. Confidence is actually knowing your real worth and estimate and staying true to it. Note, people that are self-confident are always humble. Pride is over estimating yourself, passing the boundary of your real worth.
Humility does not mean that you should lose your self-esteem, be confident but don’t be proud because pride is for the foolish. How high, how sharp is that thing you call your ego? Do you have that strong feeling that people would mistake your being humble for stupidity? Watch out, don’t allow what you term as being wise make you stumble, don’t allow what you term as a strong self-worth make you fall.
Humility creates more space for learning, humility creates more space for improvement, it comes with the never give up spirit, humility comes with a heart of gratitude, humility shuns of pretense and deceit, humility runs away from jealousy and envy. A humble spirit is never shy to keep trying until it attains success. Humility brings peace, joy and unity. Humility attracts true love and respect from others. Humble people are high flying people.
Proud people don’t know how to respond to disappointment and mistakes, their ego is too high for failure, so when they fail they bury the case rather than trying again. Humility is remaining teachable. A friend would always say “sincere humility attracts, lack of humility subtracts and artificial humility detract”.
Humility as I was told costs nothing but buys everything. Are you conversant with your bible? Do you remember the story of Queen Vashti who was the wife of King Ahasuerus who ruled over 127 provinces in the book of Esther. Remember she lost her position because of pride; she became bigger than the king in her mind because of her outstanding beauty, and a prided nature that made her refuse such a powerful kings order.
Do you also remember that Haman in the book of Esther lost his life because of pride? He wanted to wipe a whole nation because he was not acknowledged by a single person from that nation. So many people have lost their lives, their positions and their titles because of pride. Are you learning?
How do you respond to the praise and comment of people around you, are you wise enough to differentiate genuine praise from flattery. Are you wise enough to know how to handle praises from others? How do you react when they tell you that you are the best they have ever seen in your area of expertise? Does it make your head look bigger than it seems or it makes you get geared up to work harder? Watch it, wise people know how to respond maturely to the praises of people, and the moment you allow the praises to get deep into your head, you begin to lose this great virtue.
How do you see people around you in the same profession, place of work, place of worship and people in the same association? Do you see yourself as the boss and as being unteachable by others? Do you believe people lower than you have nothing they can teach you or do you believe there is nothing you can learn from them? If you believe this, then watch it, be careful.
Do you find it hard to say thank you when people around you help in doing something or rather assist you in completing a project. Do you feel that your ego is too high/big/wide to greet some set of people? The moment you feel that you are too big to listen to some set of people or learn from a particular set of people because you have gone past them, then you have lost it.
The only man that is expected to be proud is the man that created himself, and like I would always say, Humility is the first true test for every great man.
Are you a great (wo)MAN? Think of these things.
— Copyright © 2013 Seun Emmanuel Alaofin.