The word humility comes from the same Latin root word for “humus.” That is, the word humility essentially means to be fully grounded. Humus is the earth between our fingers; our humility is our self firmly held. To be humble is to be grounded. Grounded in reality, in an honest and accepting assessment of my strengths and my weaknesses. The humble person knows himself, without any delusions, without any additions or subtractions. The humble person knows that she is strong in one area while being weak in another, and it’s all OK. The humble person yields to his vulnerability, knows that it is acceptable to be weak and to need help. The humble person yields to her strength, knows that it is acceptable to be strong and to offer that help to another person. In our humility we become real. You cannot be humble and be phony. To be humble is to be strong, chiefly because I know and accept that I have permission to be weak.
It may take years to realize, but one does not have to do everything one is asked to do. Many opportunities arise. Many elicit excitement upon being perused. It is in the moment of arousal that great risk emerges, side by side with great opportunity. This moment, a sort of crisis in its own way, demands discernment. Appraisals fill the mind. Does this concern me? Can I do this well? The answer to these questions may well be “yes,” but still more discernment is required. Mindfully, one must remember that just because one might be able to do something well, one still has the option to not do that action, even if it IS important to do. It is worth repeating: Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you MUST do something. Many stress related illnesses and deaths may have been avoided had this simple truth been heeded.