We use words daily, and I don’t know if we truly understand their meaning. For instance, it is impossible to be brave if you are not scared. Bravery is overcoming or doing something even though you are scared. Being scared is a prerequisite for being brave. Being peaceful can only come from a violent person.
You must choose to be peaceful. If you cannot be violent, you are not choosing to be peaceful. So, with humility, you have to know you’re good at something and decide not to lord it over people.
The way you treat people even though you have significant accomplishments in an area defines this word. When I get to have business meetings with people like Mike Barnes, he listens to everyone in the room. Then takes their ideas and helps them understand the best way to move forward, even though it would just save time for him to explain to us how we are moving and why is humility. Being the very best and knowing it is a prerequisite to being humble.
I remember people getting so mad at one of my old professors, Dr. Hall. They would say he always thinks he is the smartest guy in the room.
They hated him for this.
The thing was, he almost always was the smartest guy in the room. I took a lot of his classes, and he never once said anything about being the smartest guy in the room, ever. He pushed us hard and expected us to be great like he was, and people got offended.
They meant I needed to be smarter to keep up in his class. However, that makes people feel bad. In the same way, if you ask Tom Brady who the best quarterback is and he doesn’t say he is, is he being humble or lying? I mention it because if you want to be humble, brave, or peaceful, you must have all of the prerequisites. Understanding the lexicon helps us to understand society and ourselves.
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Dr. Matt Chalmers
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