QUESTION OF THE DAY: What does humility mean to you?

Nivine asked this yesterday on my wall, and I thought I would, as usual, bring the question out into the public for a full examination.

For me, humility doesn't have anything to do with false modesty, or annoying piety, or self-sabotage in the name of misunderstood meekness. Because if you've got a drive to go be something in the world? GO BE IT. Go shine a light, by all means, and shine it big.

For me, then, humility has nothing to do with living small. Instead, it has to do with recognizing all the countless people and forces and accidents of fate and moments of divine mystery that have made your life possible. Nobody has ever done anything of worth in this world all alone. I don't care how much of a self-made maverick you may think are you — the fact is, you aren't one. Nobody is. Trust me; you have been assisted and uplifted, by both seen and unseen powers.

There are people and spirits living and dead who have sacrificed for you, and believed in you, and taught you, and fought for you, and covered for you, and corrected you, and directed you, and cheered for you, and bet on you to win. And there are also people out there who have probably, without you even knowing about it, quietly prayed for you — quietly prayed that one of these days you would finally get your act together. I know damn well they prayed for me.

Do not waste their efforts.

Do not waste their love.

That's what humility means to me — a repetition of that refrain. (Do not waste their efforts. Do not waste their love.) Go out there in the world and be whatever you need to be, but do not under any circumstances forget or squander whatever goodness has been gifted unto you. And then, of course, turn right around and give all that goodness back to the world, just as hard as you possibly can, for as along as you can.

What about you all? How you feel about humility? How have you seen it understood (or misunderstood) in your own life?

Peace out y'all,

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall