Humility doesn’t take away our self-respect; it helps us respect the self
Some people feel that humility is demeaning, that it takes away their self-respect. This feeling stems from their misunderstanding that humility means to let oneself be trampled on by the world.
But actual humility is not about being disrespected by the world; it is about freeing oneself from dependence on the world’s approval. Such dependence characterizes the arrogant – they struggle feverishly for acquiring those things that will bring the world’s praise. They thus unwittingly tie their sense of self-worth on things that are external to their true self – positions and possessions.
However, such externals are not always in human control. And they certainly don’t last forever. The futile struggle to hold on to those things causes the arrogant enormous anxiety and drains their mental energy. They spend their whole lives trying to preserve and parade their assets. By living for such peripheral and ephemeral things, they end up disrespecting their true self and its glory as an eternal blissful being, part of the all-attractive Supreme Being, Krishna.
Humility enables us to turn away from obsessing over the world’s perception of us. Thus it frees us to turn inwards, to our true values and our cherished aspirations, eventually to our true self.
When complemented with scriptural wisdom, humility helps us to realize our spiritual identity. How? By enabling us to focus on Krishna, the source of all knowledge, without being distracted by anxiety about the world’s perception. No wonder the Bhagavad-gita (13.08) indicates that humility is the first among the characteristics of knowledge.
Even materially, humility enables us to choose our vocations in accordance with our psychophysical nature and not based on what will get the world’s pats.
Thus by freeing us to act according to our inner self, humility paves the way to authentic self-respect.
Explanation of article: