Somewhere along the way we decided that it’s more important to look confident and have all the answers than to exercise humility.
Unfortunately we are bearing the fruit of that. And it looks like dissension, snarky Facebook comments and nasty displays of arrogance everywhere we look.
I believe that we desperately need to practice the art of humility now more than ever, and here’s why:
We need humility to make tough decisions.
The easy decisions, or morally and culturally right or wrong decisions, are not usually difficult. We are often able to be more confident in those choices. Tough decisions that seem to have no right or wrong choice are the ones where we need the most humility. Think about all the hard decisions during this pandemic that seem to have no right choice or good option: Where to go for a family outing, if to send my kids to school, how and where to go on vacation.
If you think you have all the answers, you don’t. If you think you know what will happen next in the world, you don’t. If you are so confident in your tough decisions that there is no room for you to be incorrect, then you will certainly have a tough time. And I’m sorry, but I’m tired of it. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know for sure.” You are not a lesser, weaker, or less smart person.
We need humility when others make or support different decisions than we do.
We are not all making the same choices during the pandemic. Wearing masks, eating at restaurants, and sending kids to school are just a few of the many decisions that we face. I need my relationships now more than ever, and what I cannot do is forget my humility when a friend is choosing differently for their family than I am. They are choosing based on a whole different set of factors and variables, and the best thing I can do is have enough humility to support them and to hold my own opinions lightly.
If you are choosing differently than someone, this does not need to make you mad. It does not need to cause a stink or a scene or a Facebook thread that is followed by many with popcorn in hand for it’s “reality show” entertainment value.
We need humility to change our course, or when others want to change their course.
Newsflash: Some decision that you’ll make during pandemic (or just during life) won’t work. It’ll become clear that you want to change your mind. The thing that made you question that choice will actually happen, and you won’t feel great about it. But with humility, you aren’t crushed by that change of course. And with humility, you can help a friend move forward in the way that they need to.