ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Quality of Life & Wellness

Life Lessons Learned: Part Two (How To Be Humble)

Updated on July 7, 2012

"A man who is at the top is a man who has the habit of getting to the bottom." — Joseph E. Rogers

In continuation with the series, I have to decided to share my thoughts on the concept of humility. This virtue is rare to find, but when practiced, can make a world of difference. I often find myself struggling in this area, but I know I am not alone. If we are all honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that humility does not come easy. Why? Because being prideful is easier and more acceptable in today's society.

Why does practicing humility make a world of difference? How does one become humble? How are the flames of pride extinguished? Let's take a journey with open minds and discover the answers to these questions.

What Is Humility?

Webster's Dictionary defines humility as not being haughty or arrogant, but rather submissive. According to the quote above, humility is learning how to live life on the bottom. Now what kind of statement is that? Who wants to live life on the bottom? That seems meaningless, of no value and interest. This statement means that one must be willing to live behind the scenes, not having to be constantly noticed in the spotlight. Humility is putting others before your self. It is making the needs of others a top priority.

Not A Walk In The Park

Humility does not come easy; it is not in our nature. It is brought about through hard work, determination and practice. I think we can all agree that humility is not a normal way of life. We enjoy to live life large and be noticed. We desire to rewarded for our accomplishments and usually a pat on the back does not suffice. But, being noticed isn't a bad thing, so we must find the proper balance. How and where do we draw the line?

Jon and I in Budapest, Hungary
Jon and I in Budapest, Hungary

Drawing The Line Of Balance In A Dizzy World

I want to inform you that there is nothing wrong with feeling good about accomplishing a goal. The problem arises when that feeling of self pride starts to control you and captivate your thoughts. To avoid this dilemma, there must be a healthy balance between pride and humility.

What has always helped me is to recognize how I have arrived at point B. I make mental notes of who has helped me become who I am now. This process aids me in the realization that it is not all about me. I am not the only actor in the play, if you will. "Other actors" have come along side me to support me, and without them I would not be where I am today. This way of thinking seems to help me not become overly prideful of my accomplishments in life.

Me in a College Drama
Me in a College Drama

Let's Imagine Here For A Moment

What if everyone thought of others instead of themselves? What if everyone didn't care about being on the top of the ladder, so-to-speak? If this were the case, dysfunctional families, relationships and workplaces would cease to exist. No one would be attempting to outdo the other. No one would be focused on themselves because their focus would be on everyone else. When I imagine this scenario, I think of the TV show Lost, but totally revamped(A beautiful island of peace and tranquility with no trials or problems, a Utopia).

Not A Message Of False Hope

Since we all know that life is not perfect, I will be straightforward with you. I will not attempt to lie to your face. Humility is difficult and very hard to come by! This virtue will not appear overnight!

I would like to share with you some ways in which we can overcome pride in our lives. These are some of the lessons I have learned over time through my experiences and am still learning today.

1. Who Is The Top Dog? I am not the top dog, you are not the top dog, no one is the top dog! We are all on the same playing field. Living with this mindset is not an easy feat. I will tell you that right now. But, when humility is practiced, it can be life-changing.

2. What Can I Do For You? If we are constantly asking this question, we will be avoiding the opposite question(What can I do for myself?). By focusing on what others need, we won't be focused on self. Humility is learning how to deny yourself of certain things. Think of it as a diet. If you are on a sugar-free diet, you will be denying yourself water right? No of course not, I am just making sure you are awake! You will be denying yourself sugar. The same is true with humility. When you are focusing on others' needs, you will be denying yourself.

3. Do You Live Behind The Scenes? Let;s think of a play for a moment and compare it to this concept of humility. In a play, the actors are important, but the play would not succeed with some other vital roles. No one gives even the slightest thought about the makeup artists and the stagehands, although they play an important role as well.

Are we constantly trying to be in the spotlight, or are we fine with being behind the scenes as well. I mentioned before that being in the spotlight is fine as long as we are able to control the fame. That is the difficult part. Even in the spotlight and fame, we can be humble by recognizing how we got there. It is not about us, never has been about us, and never will be about us! Imagine if we all lived like that, even for a day!

The Dash Poem And My Mission

"I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning..to the end.
He noted that first came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears, 1964-1994
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth..
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars..the house..the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you”d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’’s true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we”ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile..
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’’s being read
With your life’’s actions to rehash..
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?"

(poem source: Linda Ellis, author, speaker, poet)



My mission is to live a life of humility. I desire others to remember that I spent my dash by putting others first and that I was able to live behind the scenes. I can honestly proclaim that being humble is an ongoing struggle that I wage war with everyday. I am in constant war with my ego. But, when I die, I want others to remember me as one who aspired to be humble by becoming second to all.

Who is with me on this journey to humility?


"Humility is at the equilibrium of ego. When we’re on center, we manage our ego rather than it managing us." — Steve Smith


Earn Money on HubPages?

Would you like to make some money on the side? Do you enjoy writing? Then signup here, it is fast, easy, and free!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Sharon,

      Thanks I appreciate your kind words!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Nice work Josh! How old are you? You have an over abundance of wisdom for such a young "thang." Honestly, it is really great to see!

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Gypsy,

      Thanks for loyally supporting me! Thanks for commenting, yes we are a team! Thanks for the share!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. Powerful hub Josh. As the Three Musketeers said it's one for all and all for one. Let's all support one another and stand side by side. Passing this on.

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Ann,

      Thanks for sharing, yes God is the top dog, but I was referring to us as human beings without God in the equation. Thanks for the comment and vote.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 5 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Good points, all, Josh. I enjoyed reading this, particularly since pride is something I battle with every day, myself. I have just one disagreement. There is one top dog of us all - God, and He calls us all to love one another.

      Voted up.

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Samson,

      Thanks for the comment. I definitely agree with that preacher 100%. Thanks for voting and sharing and God bless!

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Very good work my friend and well written. I heard a wise old preacher say one time that "Humility was the one virtue that once you realized you had it, you didn't have it anymore..." in other words. It's possible to become prideful over our humbleness. Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.

      Blessings to you and yours my friend...

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Marlene,

      You are welcome!

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks for reading and commenting naimishika!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      Thank you.

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Lipnancy,

      I'm glad you enjoyed it and humility is a great thing for all families to practice. Thanks for the share and votes.

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Marlene,

      Part one is life lessons learned how to love. And the picture is actually just friends we went to college with. Ok I will be reading it when you publish it!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      Nice family picture Josh. Is there a part 1 to this story? I couldn't find it. I will probably write another article this week.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Thank you Josh for reminding us about humility. My parents constantly worked on my humility. Voted Up and Shared.

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Mary,

      Thanks for that endearing comment, I really appreciate it! I am glad I am following you as well! I love this HubPage community! Thanks for the read, comment, and votes!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      The message of Jesus is one of humility, charity, and brotherly love...humility being the hardest of these to achieve. You said we need to reach a "healthy balance between pride and humility." How did you get so wise at such a young age? "What can I do for you?" A question you put forth again hitting the nail on the head.

      I am amazed not just by your wisdom but your practice of humility. I am so glad I am following you and get to read all this good stuff!

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Christy,

      Thanks for your encouraging comment! Humility is an important virtue to live by!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Humility is so important and you outline the positives for having it very well. Think of others and respect people around you. It can not be said enough. I vote up, beautiful, and will share too.

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Shine,

      Thanks for your continued support, it means a lot to me! We all learn things the hard way, don't we? But, it is the getting up and learning from these mistakes and deeming never to do those same mistakes again! thanks for reading and glad I could touch with these words. Have a great day me fellow hub friend!

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Kelley,

      Thank you! That was very kind of you to say! That is awesome, I hope your service was great, and live out your dash with humility Kelley!

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Karen

      Thanks for your comment, yes the world would be a much better place if humility was sought after and practiced! Thanks for the vote!

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      CWB,

      That is a great quote, thank you for sharing it with me! And thanks for the votes!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Josh

      I learned humily to the hard way - life had a way of slapping me in the face when my head got bigger than the rest of my body. Most of my lessons came with age. You have such a wonderful head-start for such a young man. Already aware of these important lessons and traits are just one of the reasons you will go far.

      Wonderful and inspiring write. I'm so proud to call you my friend.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Josh, You are such a treasure! You must have a fantastic mother ha ha. I want to know her secrets.... I love this hub. Humility is such an important virtue in life. As I prepare to go to LifeChurchTV this morning it's a great reminder to me that humility is where I also want to live out my dash. Voted up, awesome, and shared! Kelley

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      Josh,

      This is a good one. It is so hard to be humble! And most people do not strive for this in their every day lives but the world would be a better place if they did. Voted up.

    • Civil War Bob profile image

      Civil War Bob 5 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      Another good hub, Josh...voted up, useful, beautiful, interesting. The best quote I've read on living is by Robert Murray McCheyne, a Scottish preacher of the early 19th century. He said simply, "Live so as to be missed!" Enjoy your day!

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks so much M, I appreciate your warm comments!

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      wonderful hub again J. you are truly one amazing person.

      all my votes :)

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Marlene,

      You are very welcome! And I will try to remember that. LOL

      P.S. When is your next hub coming out? :)

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      Thank you. I appreciate it. If there's anything that I can do to help, feel free to ask me, but remember that I am no top dog. lol...

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Marlene,

      First of all, thanks for your continued support on my hubs, it is appreciated more than you can ever know!

      Ok, now to respond to your comment, thanks so much for the awesome comment! Can I vote it up, useful, awesome and beautiful? Well, if I could I would. You have encouraged me tonight with this comment. And never apologize for leaving a long comment. I don't mind that at all, it shows you were able to take something away. I totally agree with what you said about mentors! Mentors that push us to do those things we thought we couldn't are the best mentors to have. And when those mentors help us to succeed, we must thank them and not become prideful. For it is because of them, that we have gotten there.

      I am glad you are not a top dog, now stay that way, :) Thanks again for commenting and supporting me Marlene! And I sincerely mean that! Take care!

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks for the warm and sincere comment! Yes, humility is a hard virtue to perfect, I struggle everyday. But am learning how to be more of a humble person in everything that I do. Thanks for stopping by Lord, I appreciate it!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      A very good read Josh. I really like the message here. Nothing turns me off more than an arrogant, cocky and self-centered person regardless of how attractive or smart they are. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious and successful, but like you mentioned, we should always be grateful to our mentors for believing in us and in our capacity to excel and do great things. That is awesome that Billy believes in you and your potential. I think you are a talented writer from what I have read so far so keep up the good work. I will never ever forget the first attorney that I worked for. That first week I started working for her she told me that she believed in me and that my drive and determination meant so much more to her than my experience. A good mentor is one who will push you out of the comfort zone and teach you the skills necessary to reach your full potential. Sorry this hub is so long. I almost felt like I was writing in my journal. By the way, I really like the quote you used by Joseph Rogers and I'm not a top dog either! LOL.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      Awesome read. Even though you are young enough to be my son, I can refresh my state of mind with your tips and reminders. Hard for some to keep that humility sacred and untouchable. Thanks Josh!

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      WOW Annie,

      Can I first say that I love your comments! They are so encouraging and compassionate! When you comment on my hubs, I take away something, and that is awesome! Yes, I totally agree with you when it comes to being on top. Being on top is a worthless aspiration in my mind. Thanks so much for your endearing comment and support the past few days! I really appreciate it and can only hope to reciprocate the favor as well as you have! Thanks, and have a great day! Thanks for the votes and share as well!

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 5 years ago from Australia

      I agree with Maggs, you are showing wisdom beyond your years and what you are striving for, many never achieve. Your words are so very inspiring. I think it is really sad in these times that so much emphasis is put on getting to the top. If everyone is at the top the human pyramid (society) would collapse as there would be no foundations to hold us up. In my eyes, making up part of the foundations is far more important than singing our own praises from the top. Love your humility, Josh, keep teaching and inspiring us. My votes to you and sharing.

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks for reading Michelle, your comments are always so encouraging! Yes humility is a difficult concept, but something we should all be striving for. I am no where near where I need to be, but I am trying to learn new things every day! Thanks for stopping by Michelle, appreciate your ongoing support!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Wow. This really kicked in Josh. I agree so much with you about the difficulty of practicing humility, because we all want to be acknowledged for our efforts and there are some, like those behind the scenes in a play, who will seldom, if ever, get recognition.That's why people are driven to the spotlight! We should always acknowledge everything that makes things work, and recognize the support that has gotten us to where we are. A most thought provoking read, my friend.

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Yes we all are maggs! And thanks again for reading! :)

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks mhatter we are all trying in this area. Thanks for reading!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Me? humble? Lord knows I tried... but you wrote a good article. thanks

    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 5 years ago from Sunny Spain

      Aren't we all Josh, I know that I still am, and you are right life ain't over yet and neither are the life lessons.

      As for the vote it was well deserved!

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks for that encouraging comment mags, I really appreciate it, but I am still learning. Life ain't over yet! :). Thanks for the vote!

    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 5 years ago from Sunny Spain

      I enjoyed reading this hub very much, you seem to be learning your life lessons early, I wish I had learned mine early on :D

      Thank you so much for sharing some your journey and the battles you have had along the way, very insightful and helpful.

      Voting up

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks TT? Lol that comment meant a lot to me!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      [Insert generic hub comment here] muhahahaha :)

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Bill I definitely agree with you, like I mentioned in my hub I struggle with it every day. It is so much easier to say the words than to live them. Thanks for your honest comment on this concept of humility. I know what you mean about subconsciously seeking approval. You are not alone there and it takes an honest and willing heart to admit that. Thanks for your inspiration and honest uncle Bill! Have a great rest of your day!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The words are true my young friend; the rub comes in living it. It took me a long time to learn this lesson; I could say the words but when it came right down to it I wasn't living them. I was constantly looking for approval, constantly finding ways to gain attention without asking for it...the subconscious mind is a devious thing indeed.

      Well done nephew!

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Janine,

      Right back at you! :)

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks for stopping by and offering me the link, humility is a concept we should all be striving for.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      Again very true Josh, we all are in this battle together. Also, you are quite welcome and thank you as always too!

    • embee77 profile image

      embee77 5 years ago

      Good for you! Humility is not very popular in our society today. I refer you to Richard Rohr's website. He is a Franciscan priest (St. Francis was the ULTIMATE humble person) who has taught and practiced the contemplative lifestyle for over 40 years. It's very inspirational, and I hope you find it of interest.

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Janine,

      Thanks for reading, voting, and commenting. Yes it is hard for me to, we are all in this battle together! Thanks for you honesty and for having an open mind. Always appreciate your sincere and compassionate comments!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      Josh, another great hub article. Everything you wrote about humility is true. It is really not easy to live Inez's life being humble. I do try so hard to live my life accordingly, but trust me I am no where near perfect and am learning something new everyday and also make tons of mistakes. I loved how you used the poem about the dash and how we need to live our lives during the dash part, again so very true. Again loved this and voted up and shared too.

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Debbie,

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. And for voting and commenting. Yes the world would be a much greater place!

    • josh3418 profile image
      Author

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks so much Linda for the awesome comment! I love the show Lost! :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I am with you Josh! It didn't take much to convince me even though your words are very persuasive. Well done!

      BTW I like your analogy on Lost...totally revamped for sure!:)

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Josh, you are so wise... this is a wonderful hub.. I am with you my friend.. if we all worked on this.. this world would be a great world. Blessings to you.. sharing and voted up

      Debbie