Menanteau Serfontein – 3 September 2021
It is important to have a healthy amount self-respect and self-esteem, without being prideful, haughty and arrogant. There is overwhelming evidence that these traits have been frowned upon throughout history. In his book “The Abolition of Man”, C.S. Lewis points out that Humility is one of the Universal Values (contained in what C.S. Lewis refers to as the “Tao”), that has applied over the ages in various civilizations.
Humility is the complete opposite of Pridefulness, Haughtiness and Arrogance which are defined as follows:
Pridefulness is having an excessively high opinion of oneself .
Haughtiness is being arrogantly superior and disdainful (showing contempt and a lack of respect).
Arrogance is an exaggerated view of one’s own worth or importance.
Humility is the quality of having a modest (unassuming) approach to one’s position, importance, achievements and abilities and being sensitive to the needs and feelings of others.
A humble person who has been appointed to a high position realizes that the appointment is temporary and that the perks and trimmings that often accompany the position, are related to the position – not the individual.
I was fortunate to discover the reality of this principle early in my life which helped me to realize the importance of humility as well as the fact that the benefits associated with a position are often short-lived. Whilst playing rugby when I was in my 20’s, I was Captain of the South-Eastern Transvaal provincial rugby team (now Pumas). On Saturday afternoon, the team arrived at the stadium in the team bus that was respectfully allowed to enter through the gates to park inside the stadium premises close to the main stand. The players and their spouses/girlfriends had free VIP tickets and received the best treatment before the start of the game and also afterwards inside the Union President’s lounge which was restricted to VIP’s only.
I was unexpectedly dropped as Captain and as a member of the team and when I went to the stadium the following week to watch my ex-team members play, I had to park outside the stadium, queue with the rest of the public outside the gate to pay for my ticket and find my own way to the pavilion.
After the match, I was again persona non grata and left the stadium on foot with the rest of the spectators. The lesson I learnt was the exact point that the well-known Author and Inspirational Speaker, Simon Sinek, makes in the Video below – that my perks and benefits were related to my “position” – not the person. Don’t be presumptuous, prideful and arrogant – enjoy the benefits while it lasts with humility and gratitude, knowing that it is temporary and that it will come to an end – sometimes much sooner than expected.
Don’t be puffed up. Separate who you really are from any title or position bestowed on you, or any achievement that you have attained. This is a crucial distinction to make, in order to have contentment and to avoid disappointment and disillusionment in life. As it is written: “……for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” 1 Timothy 6:6-7
You are encouraged to watch the excellent 3:32 Minute YouTube Video of Simon Sinek, entitled “Do You Deserve a Styrofoam Cup or a Ceramic Cup?” explaining this principle in a succinct and entertaining manner. Click here to watch Sinek’s YouTube Video.
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