Rope bridges are scary (e.g. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom). Even real bridges can be scary. Crossing a rickety bridge to get to where we want to go is exactly like our paths to different successes. If we were to put a metaphor together, humility is the strength of the rope we use to build our bridges from where we are today and where we want to be tomorrow. Every step we take out over our challenges, which sometimes look like gigantic, menacing gorges, puts our dependence more and more on our character. If we haven’t gone through the necessary refining and growth, we may suddenly hear a *snap* and be subject to a pitfall. And going back metaphorically, it literally would be a “pit” “fall”.
This means our character and humility are worth absolutely everything, because our abilities, talents, and everything else we use to succeed are directly related to how mature and developed we have become in those areas. Humility softens the blows of failure and protects us against the pitfalls of the pride that comes from success.
“Life is a long lesson in humility.”
– J. M. Barrie
Humility doesn’t grow overnight. The reality is we have to overcome some very innate tendencies we have as humans to be humble, because by default we care about ourselves. In the same vein, we don’t tend to think about others at all, so it requires moving our personal center off of ourselves and onto others. Ernest Hemingway says it like this:
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
– Ernest Hemingway
His statement reiterates how it is all about the journey of being better than our former selves while being focused on not centering ourselves on us, but rather on the successes of others. How often do we legitimately rejoice in the successes of others? We sometimes, or many times, have to fight off envious thoughts. While envy, self-centeredness, and other vices have their own names and descriptions, they seem to usually have at least a small root in pride.
It is exceedingly important that we humble ourselves too, because that is a major thing that Jesus practiced. We should also think about Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. The more we lower ourselves, the closer we get to nature of God.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45
There is nothing more important for our professional, spiritual, and relational selves than for us to actively grow and practice our humility.