humility

Laughter is an integral part of life, one that we could ill afford to lose. If I were asked what single quality every human being needs more than any other, I would answer, the ability to laugh at himself. When we see our own grotesqueries, how droll our ambitions are, how comical we are in almost all respects, we automatically become more sane, less self-centered, more humble, more wholesome. To laugh at ourselves we have to stand outside ourselves - and that is an immense benefit. Our puffed-up pride and touchy self-importance vanish; a clean and sweet humility begins to take possession of us. We are on the way to growing a soul.

Peace comes only from loving, from mutual self-sacrifice and self-forgetfulness. Few today have humility or wisdom enough to know the world's deep need of love. We are too much possessed by national and racial and cultural pride.

Real holiness has love for its essence, humility for its clothing, the good of others as its employment, and the honor of God as its end.

True religion teaches us to reverence what is under us, to recognize humility and poverty, and despite mockery and disgrace, wretchedness, suffering, and death as things divine.

He who is great must make humility his base. He who is high must make holiness his foundation.

Poverty is a noose that strangles humility and breeds disrespect for God and man.

That is true humility to have a meane esteeme of himselfe out of a true apprehension of Gods greatnesse.

In spite of the fact that religion looks backward to revealed truth while science looks forward to new vistas and discoveries, both activities produce a sense of awe and a curious mixture of humility and arrogance in practitioners. All great scientists are inspired by the subtlety and beauty of the natural world that they are seeking to understand. Each new subatomic particle, every unexpected object, produces delight and wonderment. In constructing their theories, physicists are frequently guided by arcane concepts of elegance in the belief that the universe is intrinsically beautiful.

At some thoughts one stands perplexed, especially at the sight of men’s sin, and wonders whether one should use force or humble love. Always decide to use humble love! If you resolve on that once and for all, you may subdue the whole world. Loving humility is marvelously strong, the strongest of all things: there is nothing else like it.

In visions of wisdom, in devotion to the good, in submission to beauty, and when overwhelmed by the holy, we awake to behold existence in this relationship. In reverence, suffering, and humility we discover our existence and find the bridge that leads from existence to God. And this is religion.

All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power. If you want to govern people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.

Oh, give me vision to discern the child behind whatever he may do or say, the wise humility to learn from him the while I strive to teach him day by day.

Christian contemplation is not something esoteric and dangerous. It is simply the experience of god that is given to a soul purified by humility and faith.

You should practice humility first toward man, and only then toward God. He who despises men has no respect for God.

The voice of humility is God’s music and the silence of humility is God’s rhetoric.

Fear is the anticipation and expectation of evil or pain, as contrasted with hope which is the anticipation of good. Awe, on the other hand, is the sense of wonder and humility inspired by the sublime or felt in the presence of mystery. Fear is “a surrender of the succors which reason offers,” awe is the acquisition of insights which the world holds in store for us. Awe, unlike fear, does not make us shrink from the awe-inspiring object, but, on the contrary, draws us near to it. That is why awe is compatible with both love and joy.

Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.

Fullness of knowledge always and necessarily means some understanding of the depths of our ignorance, and that is always conducive to both humility and reverence.

True humility impels you, not to demean yourself, but to open your heart. It is the key to giving and receiving.

The necessity of getting reconciled with the idea of his possible extinction may breed a new humility and may rid man of that biological jingoism which made him regard himself as the crown of creation.