Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

January 09, 2007

Thoughts on pride and humility

It has come to my attention recently how detrimental pride is to my development as a person. Happily, I've come to this from trying out the ideas of Leadership Education instead of from the usual mode of learning- painful tests. It's been like learning a dance- watching a dancer who knows the dance and imitating her movements, trying to learn their basic structure and see the grace in them and whether I can copy them. In the trying, feeling if this is the right dance for me to do and just taking it all in. I know I've said this before, but it just keeps coming back to me how important it is for me to acknowledge that I have a lot to learn in this life and to try to get comfortable with that.

My history with pride looks like this: feeling forcibly humbled early in my life and so trying to hang on to the appearance of self-respect through a prideful attitude, trying to be humble, but getting it confused with self-deprecation (which, ironically, didn't help the pride issue- there's the solid middle ground of a positive self-image that is lacking here), pride working pretty well as a survival mechanism through the turmoil of my growing up but fostering a feeling of separateness and even aloof-ness, my college experience only adding fuel to the flames by encouraging a defensive pride in whatever knowledge I had or tried to prove I had. There it is in one really long sentence.

Now, facing the enormity that is life, I have been humbled over and over and over by how little I know about so many things that are really important, like how to raise my children, how to live peacefully in a close, loud family, what it takes to have a strong marriage, how to live responsibly on/for this earth, how I can best serve humanity, what is important in education, and what is essential for developing a place where learning can occur. And the great, freeing thing that I just want to shout out from the mountain tops is, "I don't know! And that's OK!" (there's some true self-respect building up here too from the real things that I've accomplished and fears that I've faced)

That said, and that space made in my head for things to come in and be considered as potential answers, it becomes great fun to look around at the world and see what's out there. And it becomes what I want to talk about with friends- let's get down to the important stuff and talk about our ideas and those we've come across. Just think what the Baha'i community would be like if that was our main mode of conversation every day. That's where I want to be. Alright then. Time to "Be the change you want to see in the world" (Mahatma Gandhi, of course, the master of humility in action).

Posted by Bahiyyih at January 9, 2007 02:14 AM