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Humility requires recognizing the greatness of others.

We’ve all been told countless times “don’t judge others.” But how helpful is that advice? Maybe we also shouldn’t eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom. Judging others is a natural, automatic, cognitive process. Why should we override this basic instinct?

We should judge others – judge them positively. We should envy others – envy their positive attributes and meaningful accomplishments. If we recognize the other’s greatness, we will recognize our own wasted potential. If we judge others in a healthy way, we will become humble.

Humility’s words are harsh, but true. Humility isn’t afraid of what others might think or say – humility is one-track-minded. How can I be better? Humility says to us the following:

Who do you think you are? Who appointed you as king of the world?

You don’t control anything. Your alarm clock malfunctions, the train is delayed, your email gets lost in cyberspace, the stock market crashes, the traffic stops moving on the bridge, your cell phone dies, a pandemic hits the world, the company you work for goes bankrupt… a hundred times a day you must face reality – what do you really control?

You control only one thing: the desire to be a better person. So, get started.

Humility requires accepting our ignorance.

We think we know everything. Go to Wikipedia – there you can learn about scorpions, Robert F. Kennedy, black holes, and everything in between and beyond. Go to the public library – there you can check out books on deep sea creatures, Ancient Athens, and post-traumatic stress disorder. We think we’ve advanced our understanding of the world – we think we have all the answers.

Humility tells us we know nothing. The amount of information and knowledge we don’t know far exceeds the amount we do know. For example, scientists think the observable universe only represents a small fraction of the actual universe, which consists of mostly “dark matter” and “dark energy.” The more we discover and figure out, the more questions we have.

Our perception of the world and others is so far from reality. We must make decisions, but we must always question our assumptions and reasoning. Maybe we're wrong. Maybe we messed up. Humility is healthy low self-esteem.

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