Parlindungan Pardede

Universitas Kristen Indonesia

At first glance, humility or humbleness indicates a sign of weakness rather than strength. If we don’t consider it deeply, it may seem like an under-rated virtue or a negative quality. Basically, humility means “the feeling or attitude that you have no special importance that makes you better than others or having a lack of pride” (Cambridge Dictionary). Thus, humbleness essentially refers to modesty due to the realization that everyone has his or her own weaknesses so that he/she has no reason to underestimate others. Philippians 2:3 states, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”

To many people, humility is old-fashioned and is specifically belong to only religious leaders trying to behave like God who humbled Himself by leaving His glory to become a human and even acted as a servant to save the sinful humans. In the present day society, humility seems to be much less popular than overconfidence. The feeling that one needs to look out for him or herself because nobody else will do so causes people today’s society to tend to celebrate entitlement, or the idea of focusing on the self. This makes people to become more and more competitive and obsessed with their needs.

However, humility is a wholly necessary quality in the present day because it is one of the most powerful and important attributes of growth. Andersen and Caldwell (2018) accentuated that humility contributes to individual success, leadership effectiveness in relationships and organizations, and the process of self-improvement Humility helps one build trust and promotes learning, and both are key aspects of personal development and leadership. Let’s see people around us. Those who lack humility are arrogant. They only think of themselves and see themselves as higher and better than others. Being unaware of their flaws, they miss the opportunity to improve themselves. In other words, arrogant people never have a growth mindset.

On the other hand, those who are humble are aware of what they can do well and what they are bad at. Such awareness enables them to know what to do to develop themselves. The study of Owens, Johnson, and Mitchel (2013) revealed that humility is closely linked with seeking self-improvement. Humble people also have a high level of self-control, the most crucial personal trait of many successful people. Self-control is clearly shown by humble people’s habit for never seeking praise or confirmation from others. Only arrogant people who keeps on trying to seek commendation.

Being humble does not make one weak and passive. On the contrary, while remaining humble, a humble person remains full of enthusiasm and initiative. In this regard, each student must work hard and passionately develop and use the talents and abilities bestowed upon him/her. However, every accomplishment and success one achieves should not make him/her arrogant. No matter how great the achievement, he/she must remain humble.

Humility also makes one more generous and loving. A humble person always thinks of other people’s needs rather than focusing on himself. Humility makes one grateful too. Look at people around you. A humble person is always thankful to God’s grace and to others’ helps.

Skills You Need (n.d.) recommends six activities to do to cultivate humility. First, Spend time listening to others. Second, practice mindfulness, and focus on the present. Third, be grateful for what you have, Fourth, ask for help when you need it. Fifth, seek feedback from others on a regular basis. Finally, review your actions against the language of pride.

To conclude, humility is a value everyone should imbue because it is a powerful and important attributes of growth and one of the basis for being generous and grateful. If you want to keep on growing and live happily, be humble


Andersen, V. and Caldwell, C. (2018). Humility and Self-Control. In Humility as Enlightened Leadership. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Owens, B.P., Johnson, M.D. and Mitchel, T.R. (2013). Expressed Humility in Organizations: Implications for Performance, Teams, and Leadership. Organization Science, 24(5). DOI:

Skills You Need (n.d.). Humility. Retrieved from https://www.skillsyouneed. com/ps/humility.html


  1. Humility is really an awesome power to make one great. History has shown, every great figure is humble. St. Vincent de Paul once said, “Humility is nothing but truth, and pride is nothing but lying.”


    1. Yes, Kartika. Humility is great and noble. It is one of the trait of great figures. That means, nobody is really great if he is not humble..


  2. What a great quality humility is! It makes an individual generous, loving, considerate, grateful, and thankful. It seems very hard to humble, but it deserves trying.


    1. Hi Sinta,
      Thanks for your brief but succinct conclusion. It may hard but not impossible to actualize. Many great people practice it in their life, and it is one of the traits that make them great. If they can, everybody too, right?


  3. Humility is frequently talked about, especially in Christianity. Bu but it is really hard to put it into practical actions. Most people prefer to be recognized. Just look around. Many people who donate or help the unfortunates always put their act-of-kindness into publication. The’d like to have recognition.


  4. You made a good observation, Robert.
    Humility may be hard to actualize, but it is not impossible. Look at great figures. The more humble they are, the more influential their presence.


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