Every individual has a need for meaning. We must each find a way to feel as though we matter—to ourselves, to our loved ones, to the world. But in our search for significance, those of us on the spiritual path must also stay conscious of the line where significance meets arrogance. Hence we must stay witness to our egos and thus to our ongoing humility.
So what does it mean to stay humble? And why does it matter? For ages, humility has been one of the key virtues of warrior sages, of honorable knights, of respected leaders, and of truly loved human beings. Boastful thoughts and actions reinforce the idea of separateness, that there is ME and there is YOU, and that in some ways I am better than you. On a practical level, the attitude and behavior of superiority creates a divide between oneself and others, pushing others away and creating unnecessary competition, resentment, and sometimes even violence. A consistently boastful individual is very difficult to be around, while a humble individual is quite attractive. Arrogance evokes separateness and an underlying insecurity. Humility indicates wisdom, honor, and confidence. If we expect to maintain close relationships and to inspire love, creativity, and peace and in our world, we must learn to stay modest.
The eastern philosophies espouse the concept of Not Two: there are Not Two things in the Universe. In other words, all is One. With greater humility, one can exercise his or her sense of mattering in the Universe while simultaneously recognizing that s/he is one with the Universe and all beings; and so there is no “I” and ultimately no “matter.” Hence, in humility, we can concurrently matter and not matter. Humility sends the message: While I am powerful, I recognize there is no better or worse, and that we are all wonderful.
So many wars, so many conflicts have been instigated or propelled by attitudes of superiority and egoist pride. If you have been involved in your own personal wars lately, notice if and how you are being unhealthily prideful. Remember: conceit is the platform for separation and conflict; humility is the gateway to oneness and harmony. You are indeed an amazing being...but so is every other being, no matter how misguided they may seem to you. The more humble you stay, the more you might recognize there are Not Two individuals, with one better than the other. Rather, there are only two egos. In humility, the ego dissolves and conflicts along with it.
AFFIRMATION OF THE WEEK
I matter, and I don't have to prove that to anyone.
We all amazing. We are all wonderful. We all matter.