Have you seen humbleness being modeled or been told what it should look like?
When I think of being humble, my mind quickly turns to words rooted in my faith life. The Lenten Season began on February 14th with Ash Wednesday. During this liturgical season many Catholics practice a devotion called the Stations of the Cross. The essence of the devotion is for the devotee to place themselves mentally and spiritually in front of images of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, prayerfully reflecting on the 14 Stations, depicting the suffering that Jesus endured. While the Stations (as they are often called) can come in many forms of readings and prayers, I became most acquainted with the devotional book used at my parish called “Everyone’s Way of the Cross” by Clarence Enzler. As we reach the 10th Station we hear/read the following words: “Release me from the vice of pride, my longing to exalt myself, and lead me to the lowest place. May I be poor in spirit, Lord, so that I can be rich in you.” For me, that is an extraordinarily powerful message. Yet, sadly, there are moments when my inclination is to exalt myself, an urge to sing my own praises.
The people that I have met in my lifetime for whom I have the greatest admiration and respect are those wonderful people who are cloaked in humility. Despite the immense skills that they possess, they remain genuine, kind and humble. Those are the folks around whom I yearn to be!
Fortunately, I was blessed to see it early in my life through the behaviors my mom exhibited to witness humbleness. Though she was a woman of great exterior and interior beauty, and, an example of courage and strength during her short time on earth, my mom was humble and compassionate. Undoubtedly, her witness had an impact on whom I would hope to emulate.
Often it is the behaviors that we witness in others that we say to ourselves, “wow, I certainly do not want to be like that person.” Indeed, that is true for me, as I have developed a strong dislike for the antithesis of humbleness, that is, those behaviors that are rooted in self-centeredness, narcissism, pomposity, smugness, and elitism. Discovering those behaviors that you admire and those you do not, are often strong motivators to focus your mind and efforts on exhibiting actions and words that reflect what you find most appealing.
So, as we are in the early stages of my favorite liturgical season, Lent, I hope that I will be ever mindful of the greatest Servant Leader, Jesus Christ, and strive to live my life with humility and kindness. While I will undoubtedly be tested and likely fail along the way, the call to humbleness is worthy of a valiant effort.