Would you rather be bitten by a wasp or a… humblebee?
Okay, neither. However, it ought to be the latter. Why? Because, A: a wasp sting hurts; and B: humility is a virtue much more difficult to attain than almost all others. Take kindness, for example. It is very easy to be kind to someone, isn’t it? For example, you need something from them, or you want them to do something, or you think you may benefit from the relationship at some future moment, or you even simply you want to be friendly to your neighbours.
Humility is far more to attain as it’s a virtue with no visible or palpable external benefits, no gratitude, and will often be mocked as a weakness and a disregard towards societal norms deeply rooted in capitalism – i.e. things such as display of wealth, showing off, aggressiveness and assertiveness.
February 22 is the day when we celebrate Be Humble Day, a made-up holiday that aims to increase empathy, awareness, get people to think about the virtue of humility, and perhaps act humble for the day (which may result in increased humility in the long run, if the person realizes how important it actually is to be humble).
We’ve come up with a couple of ideas on how to celebrate Be Humble Day:
1) First of all, at the end of the day, just sit down to a cup of tea or coffee or cocoa or vodka, and reflect.
Think about what it means to be humble, google the word humility, read a little bit about it, think about what humility means to you, how humble you actually are, what it is important to be humble, and how can you be more humble in the future.
In the end, mortal as human beings are, all we actually leave behind are memories other people have of us. However important wealth, houses, cars, status may seem to you right now, don’t be fooled.
It is very temporary.
On the other hand, kindness, humility, positivity, goodness, willingness to help (virtues which rarely align with traditional modern values) is what you’ll be remembered by, and by the people you actually want to remember you. Few people are going to sit down and think “Oh, what a car this guy had” or “Oh, how wonderful her clothes were.”
However, they will remember all the kindness you bestowed upon them. They will remember the times you helped them, selflessly. They will remember your bravery to stay humble in times when humbleness is not appreciated. And it will inspire them. You will inspire them. They will, in turn, inspire their children, and there you have it – you’ve made the world a better place and singlehandedly started a kindness-and-humility revolution.
2) Help someone in need. Our hectic everyday lives often make us forget the little things, the important things; that we are (if we had access to education, a home, parental love, friends, lovers) indeed better off than a great deal of people on the planet.
Take some time to think about someone, a person just like you – full of love, sadness, illness and emotions – who might not be able to take care of themselves. For whatever reason.
Help them out. Help them out even if they haven’t deserved it. Contrary to Hobbs’ Homo Homini Lupus Est, human beings are not inherently evil. Granted, in crises situations they will may upon their, shall we say, more primal emotions, but in organized and well-functioning societies (where all their basic needs are met), they are not evil. Some make mistakes, sure. Why, we all do. But overlook our human tendency to do wrong at times, and offer your aid to those in need – even if they never deserved it.
3) Volunteer. Few things are better eye-openers than witnessing what people less fortunate than us go through in their daily lives.
Be it terminally ill children, old people completely shunned and forgotten by their families, victims of abuse, the disabled, children without parents, people living way below the poverty line; step out of your comfort zone and, while you help them, share in their pain. No one can be left cool, detached, or untouched by such a display of raw humanity, of raw pain, of raw love.
4) Let people know there is such a thing as Be Humble Day. You’ve got Instagram, right? Facebook? Twitter? Share something.
Share a post saying something along the lines of Happy Be Humble Day. Spread it around. Every iota of awareness you spread, every person you get to thinking or acting about or on Be Humble Day is a victory for goodness, kindness and a better world. One person, two, ten, it doesn’t matter how many you reach. One is enough. You’ve done your fair share for the day. Thank you.
5) A wise man once said that humility is born out of knowledge (okay, the wise man is the author of this article, but let’s just roll with it, shall we?) Teach someone something new. Give your old books to people who can’t afford them, or a library. Spread knowledge.
You can set up a free-to-attend class on whatever it is that you do – accounting, medicine, gardening – anything. You can even stand on the street corner and shout things out, but, hey, that might not be the best medium to get your words across.
6) Bet yourself that you will work on becoming more humble for the next week/month/year. If you lose, you have to go on a diet and stop eating sugar for a year. Also, humanity loses. However, if you win, you get no reward whatsoever; just the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve made the world a better place for you, your children, their children, their children’s children, etc.
Empathy, a concept very difficult to quantify and measure, is what people miss the most nowadays.
Kindness towards their fellow man and woman, kindness towards everyone – be they richer, prettier, louder, more obnoxious, whatever – is what humanity so desperately needs in times when such a virtue is not deemed important. Why, some claim that not only is it not important, it is undesirable. But, in order to go into that in more detail, we’d have to write up a whole new post. Maybe sometime in the future.
For now, be good. Be kind. Buy flowers and cards (hint, hint). We are all temporary citizens of Planet Earth, and ought to treat each other as we’d like to be treated. Why not make life easier and more beautiful for someone? On a more philosophical note: life is not easy. Life is never easy, even when it is. We are, undeniably, all in this together. Connected for eternity, no one is alone.
Be Humble, stay humble and let your actions speak for you.