HUMILITY promotes peace and harmony. It puts the good of all above the interests of one, quickly goes to the aid of another, is unselfish and seeks no applause. Christ Jesus' life shows us more clearly than anyone else's the unmatched power of humility. And it's worth working for in our own lives!
Selfish pride, on the other hand, provokes struggles. Its outlook is narrow-minded, stubborn, and unappreciative of others' ideas. It is the bane of good working relationships.
If we yearn for more cooperation and understanding at home, at work, or abroad, expressing more humility and less pride ourselves is a good place to start.
A while ago, I finished a project at work and turned it in to my manager for comments. Without a word to me, however, the proj-ect was handed over to someone else. I felt I had been brushed aside. Resentment and animosity began to build within. Before long I was feeling ill and my head was starting to ache. I prayed for relief from the physical suffering, but I soon realized that it was my pride that was wounded and causing distress, not the body.
I had so closely identified the proj-ect as mine that I was now taking the comments made on it personally. Consequently, I wasn't feeling good because my manager hadn't thought my work was very good.
As I prayed, it became clear that I needed to be humble enough to see that the project's success didn't depend on me personally.
I prayed for humility.
I recalled a quotation from Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science: ``Pride is ignorance; those assume most who have the least wisdom or experience; and they steal from their neighbor, because they have so little of their own'' (p. 2).
Pride had kept me from seeing God, rather than self, as the only source of creativity and originality. Those who were revising my work had the ability to express these God-given qualities as much as I did. Their individual experiences provided them with spiritual insights I had yet to gain, and I could be grateful for the improvements they would make to the project as a result.
There is only one Mind, God. I saw that I could trust my standing at the firm and the future of the project to Mind's care.
``Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up'' (4:10) says the Epistle of James in the Bible. The ``me'' that needed to be lifted up was not human ego, however, but my identity as a child of God--expressed in such qualities as brotherly love, forgiveness, and unconditional gratitude. My primary responsibility was to love, not guard self-interest.
The pain went away.
Feeling at peace and thinking much more clearly, I saw some ways to make the revised work even stronger. My boss and I corrected the flaws together. Not only was the project improved, but we also grew in respect and appreciation for each other's talents.
Humility is a lubricant for good office relations--and for all human relationships. It allows for a free-flow of ideas and enables individuals to unite as one in working for the collective good.
Humility comes from God and is freely available to all. And it's worth working for!