Who do you like? The humble or the proud?

I could also have called this Humility: Part 2.

You may think that the humble person is boring and weak while the proud person is strong and confident. So you might have a different answer from me. The truth is, it depends on degrees. But no one wants to be around a know-it-all, someone who never lets you get a word in edgewise and is only interested in their own accomplishments. Right? That might sound like an extreme, but how many people have you met that only want to talk about themselves?

Power Under Control

On the other hand, we all like being around a humble person. After all, it gives us a chance to shine! There’s a clue right there, that we don’t want to be so humble that we encourage others to be self-centered. Remember – power under control. Not doormat.

Mat chat ideas we shared with the kids

In thinking who they like to be around, we pointed out that no one wants to be around someone who brags and boasts. We all tend to like people who honestly show who they are and what they can do — especially when they are willing to show their faults. Humility is never putting yourself down to get sympathy — it’s being honest, and not putting yourself higher OR lower than you really are!

The hardest thing in the world can be to admit you made a mistake; to admit you are wrong. But the truth is that when you make a mistake, that is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on! It is an opportunity to learn.  Humility is the foundation of karate. Humility is the foundation of all learning. You can’t learn anything if you think you already know everything. You can’t learn anything if you think you can already do everything! We need to stay humble. Making a mistake and letting someone know is being humble. Admitting you are wrong is a lesson in humility.

Sometimes when we make a mistake we have caused a rift between us and someone else — we have caused a relationship to be harmed. Being humble means you are more concerned with your relationship than you are about protecting your self image. So when you make a mistake that concerns someone else – tell that person, apologize to that person. That is true humility. And that’s how we can restore relationships.

Little Ninjas and Golden Dragons

Sometimes it takes humility to tell the truth. It might be hard to answer some questions honestly – like “who took the last cookie?”

It’s important to always tell the truth.  You want the people who love you to be able to trust you. If you tell a lie to your mom, that means she can’t trust you, and you’ve broken your relationship with her. When you love someone, you want to have a good relationship with that person. You want them to trust you. That’s why it’s important to always tell the truth so that people can trust you.

And finally:

For Little Ninjas and Golden Dragons

We’re going to wrap up this theme of humility and talk about allowing others to get noticed!

Raise your hand if you like to be heard?  Raise your hand if you like to share what you’ve learned?  (if they all raise their hand – gee! Everybody does!) That’s great! But we need to be careful that we’re letting others do the same thing. We need to be careful to wait our turn.

We want to care about others, and we need to show it by what we DO. When we interrupt, or want to be the center of attention, even going so far as to throw a temper tantrum, that is stealing someone else’s chance to be heard!

Having humility is letting others tell their story and waiting quietly until they finish. And then asking if you can tell your story.

Tigers and Juniors:

The first American to climb Mount Everest was Jim Whittaker in 1963. The Tibetan born guide who enabled him to make the climb was Nawang Gombu. They each tried to get the other to be the first to reach the summit!  Finally they both stepped to the summit at the same time.

When you are truly humble, you are more concerned about others than you are about yourself.

Selfishness and feelings of superiority – or arrogance – actually divides people.  Humility unites us. If we want to live peacefully, happily with those around us, sometimes it means giving up our right to be right. Being humble, and showing grace and gentleness to others, goes a long way towards keeping those around us happy. While we never want to budge on things that are truly important, or let ourselves be abused by others, sometimes it’s wise to just let small things go and not argue about them.

For the people we care about most – we should be in competition to see who can be last – as Jim Whittaker and Nawang Gombu were both trying to be last!

Humility – It’s not what you think!

I have to humbly apologize for not keeping up with blog posts. I’ve missed the whole month long theme of humility! This week we already started a new theme, so I am sadly behind here in cyberspace.

So what do I mean, it’s not what you think? Kids are nothing if not good for a laugh. We adults may take a word like humility for granted. Especially those of us who follow the most humble person that ever lived. But children don’t come into contact with the word enough.

No, it has nothing to do with moisture in the air that makes your hair curly! (That would be humidity.) And no, it’s not when someone is made to feel extremely embarrassed. (That would be humiliation.)

Humility is power under control.

What does that mean? It means that you know full well who you are and what your capabilities are. And you are completely in control of those capabilities and have no need to show them off.

The humble man is going to do everything he can to talk his way out of an attack by an aggressor. His goal is to deflate the situation and look for a win/win outcome.  Despite whatever weapons he may have at his disposal, not only does he know who he is, but he has regard for the person who has attacked him. I’m not talking about life and death situations here.

Don’t we get attacked every day just by reading facebook? People feel so comfortable to just put anything up in cyberspace without thinking about how someone else might respond. Our job in being humble is to keep seeing that other person as a hurting human being who has reasons for their perspective.

Now, many times it’s just not practical to try to reason with someone and you’re not going to change their perspective. It’s enough to walk away and remember they DO have a different perspective. We don’t need to go on the defensive and respond.

Here are some messages given to the kids during mat chat over the last month:

We like to say that humility is having the correct view of yourself: neither too high nor too low.  Knowing exactly who you are and what your strengths and weaknesses are. Having power but knowing when to use it – having it under complete control. That’s what we strive for in karate.

Humility is also freedom from pride or arrogance. We can often tend to think too highly of ourselves. Pride is one of those traits that can cause us to NOT see ourselves clearly, and NOT see where we’ve done something wrong. We as humans tend to see other’s faults before we see our own and we often want to blame others instead of really looking at what we’ve done wrong.

Humility is seeing yourself clearly. It sounds easy but it’s something you will be working on for your entire life!