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What Is Humility, and How Do We Develop It?

Humility is perhaps the quintessence of human values. It is the recognition of the fact that only God is great and the rest are meek and weak before Him. In other words, it is acknowledging the reality.

If we want to cultivate and strengthen this trait in us, we must watch out for things which are its antithesis or are detrimental to it. Although our conscience is enough to guide us in this matter, yet some blatant attitudes which are counter to humility may well remain in our minds. Thus when we make fun of others, do not let others speak, take credit of things we never did, boast of our achievements, do not take the initiative in greeting others, do not apologize even after realizing our mistake, walk and make gestures in an arrogant way, do not thank God enough, show conceit on our lineage and status, do not invite poor relatives to our banquets, splash our solo photographs all over house walls, put up a show of piety and religiosity, do not admit our faults, deliberately deny the truth and show self-righteousness, we are in fact doing things which are against humility and modesty.

Some practical measures may help to inculcate humility in us. Here are some of them:

1. We should stop claiming credit for the good things we do.

2. We must realize that all our talents and assets are a gift of God and He can take them away any time He wants to.

3. We should highlight even small achievements and qualities of others.

4. We should not buy and use things which reflect status.

5. We must understand our limitations. No matter how talented, rich, powerful or beautiful a person may be, there are always people who have these traits to a more pronounced extent.

6. We must learn to confess our faults to God and make amends on what we have done wrong.

7. We must keep an eye on our own faults and shortcomings for the more we realize them the more lowly opinion we will hold about ourselves.

8. We must listen more than we talk. This gives others the impression that we do not want to impose ourselves on them.

9. We must give others the benefit of the doubt in situations where a better interpretation of a person’s attitude can be made.

10. We should avoid making sweeping statements. More often than not, they reflect arrogance.

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