Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. C.S. Lewis
Last night Toastmasters was a treat. All the speakers but one backed out and he said he had little time to prepare but gave a good speech anyway. Instead of speakers, we did two extra rounds of table topics.
Many of us love and hate table topics. This is an impromptu speech for 1 – 2 minutes on a topic with no time to prepare and not a topic of our choosing. Sometimes the topics are easy and we can relate to them, some fit if we have specific knowledge or interests. Some leave us dumbfounded and rendered speechless.
We have a new member who bravely accepted the challenge and three guests who also did. Once we have that deer in the headlights feeling a few times we get used to it, sometimes something smart and thoughtful comes out, sometimes not. What we do is face our fear and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This is preparation for life. We need to speak up in our lives, jobs, social and political situations.
When we face our fears in any situation it can change the way we face fears in other situations. For many of us, we have paid the price of fear. It is not cheap when we are afraid to take the chances and opportunities that life presents. It is only by facing our fears that we can embrace our life. We can choose freedom or we can choose to be constrained by fear.
It may take everything we have in us to face our fears, but if we do, we can change our life by taking the next step. The opposite of fearful and small isn’t becoming a tyrant who pushes their weight around.
Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real. Thomas Merton
Perhaps dealing with our fear and becoming people who can deal with what life offers and choosing that which is good for us, and saying no to that which is bad for us, is becoming meek. The biblical understanding of meek is “power under control.” Isn’t that what we want? When we can harness our power and use it, direct it, focus it, control it, we become powerful people. Wild unharnessed power is dangerous, uncontrolled, and devastating.
Harnessed power is in engines, power tools, and great leaders. Jesus described himself as meek and lowly. Is true power refusal to inflate our own self-estimation, and reticence to assert ourselves for ourselves? Should our goal be to become humble “self-effacing,” and meek “power under control?”
Why are humble and meek made to seem like doormats and weak in our society? Many of us think arrogant, self-aggrandizing, and living a life for personal gain should be the goal. Maybe that is why people who attempt to live a life of hedonism feel empty.
Is facing our fears and living a life of passion and purpose what we should aim for in life? Where are we on the road to being meek and humble “self-effacing and with our power under control?”
Humility is not cowardice. Meekness is not weakness. Humility and meekness are indeed spiritual powers. Swami Sivananda
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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants Paperback – Apr 7 2015
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