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Monday, March 8, 2010

Humility week gets started!

HUMILITY - The quality or condition of being humble; imitate Jesus and Socrates.

"Humble Gift" by Marielliot

Last Humility week I was on vacation in Hawaii. It provided an interesting backdrop for the week. One of my Bliss Initiatives to support my inquiry into Humility was Practice Being Humble - I will do my best to stop comparing myself to other people. Not comparing yourself to other people while wearing a bathing suit is really really hard! 

I really failed miserably at the task. My daughter, on the other hand had an amazing knack for the topic. She was and is always all inclusive and does not discriminate in any way. I can only hope my example doesn't badly tarnish her refreshing world view.

If you haven't been following my blog long you may not know that I was inspired to add humility to my list because of Ben Franklin's inclusion of it on his own virtue list.  Here is what he said about it:

From Ben Franklin's autobiography: "My list of virtues contain'd at first but twelve; but a Quaker friend having kindly informed me that I was generally thought proud; that my pride show'd itself frequently in conversation; that I was not content with being in the right when discussing any point, but was overbearing, and rather insolent, of which he convinc'd me by mentioning several instances; I determined endeavouring to cure myself, if I could, of this vice or folly among the rest, and I added Humility to my list, giving an extensive meaning to the word. "

I think the fact that this was Ben's virtue first has kept me from owning it entirely for myself. In my heart, I have a belief that humility can lead to more bliss but it feels like something regular gals like myself can never attain. Case in point, just about anytime humility is brought up in a contemporary context Mother Theresa is held up as a shining example. Who can compete with that? Oh, yeah, humility isn't about competition. You can see why I am having trouble! 

Nevertheless I'm ready to give it a go again. This week's "Bliss Initiatives" are color coded in purple for quick identification. They are specific things that you too can try, if you want to play along with me. However, because as Earl Nightingale says, "you become what you think about," even if you only follow along, and never take on any of the bliss initiatives, I expect some positive results. I will be exploring and encouraging HUMILITY this way:

  • Study Humility - I will take my usual trip around the ether and see what inspiring things I can find about humility and I'll share what I find here. I will research the lives of both Jesus and Socrates. If you are playing along take your own tour and please share your insights on the Everyday Bliss Facebook page or on the blog in the comments.
  • Practice Kindness Anonymously - Each day, make a point of doing something kind, without taking any credit. This can be in the form of an anonymous donation to a charity or a kind deed.
  • Give Up Trying to Change Other People - If your husband leaves the cap off the toothpaste just put it on without berating him. If your mom insists on bringing food even when you asked her not to, say thank you and resist the urge to complain. Pass over the mistakes of others and accept being slighted, forgotten, and disliked.  Let's give up trying to force our will upon others (even when we know it would be good for them!)
  • Second Guess Yourself (this great idea is from Be Inspired Everyday) - Today, second guess something that you believe you know to be true. Ask what other people believe about that idea. Then, ask God for clarification and take time to silently meditate on that belief. You may find that you will gain a new and refreshing view or you may further solidify your belief. Either way, wisdom and humility will be gained.

Next Post: In my humble opinion

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise


  1. Thank you so much for doing this post. I so enjoyed reading it and made notes so I could practice some of these things that I am bad about doing.
    I will have to tell others to come over here because I know they would enjoy your site as I do

  2. Thank you so much Maggie! Please report back and let us know how your humility practice goes!

  3. It's the perfect time for humility week in my house. I'm comparing myself to EVERY mother I know - while simultaneously ramping up the anger at my own mother (I kid you not, I UNFRIENDED her on Facebook today). Eagerly following along, my dear.
    Love you!

  4. When my mom comes to my house, she cleans. I used to be terribly offended and then I just chose not to be anymore. Now, she can clean all she wants and I bless her for it. She also does so many kindness for others that I am humbled.

    I needed this little reality check to be reminded that I don't need to be right about every thing. Thanks Kathy.

  5. Such an uplifting and positive post. For your four items, I am clearly a work in progress. Great at some..others..oh boy. lol.

  6. (Nuts - I think I erased my last comment...sorry if this shows up twice!)

    How much we could all use this!

    I had to smile at the "stop forcing our will on others" - t'is just what I need and if I can truly practice this, my hubby is going to be one happy boy. (I don't know if I can overlook the 139th Diet Mountain Dew bottle left out of recycling, though!)

    Breathe and Be we go!!

  7. Great blog!!!

    As far as humility goes, if I bow any lower my earrings will be grazing the floor. I was humbled quite nicely yesterday, lol!

  8. Here are some thoughts that came up as I read the post:
    People could donate the food to someone else or pay for someone's toll as you pay for your own.

    Humility, to me, has kind of a negative connotation. I try to treat others as I would like to be treated whether anyone ever treats me that way or not. I am going to try to think about how my negative connotation impression relates to "The Golden Rule".

    Thanks for bringing it up.

  9. oh boy...give up trying to change other people. That's a tough one with two teenagers although it would give ME less stress probably! thanks for visiting and so glad you had a lucky streak on OWOH. It was fun.



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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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