This week I would like to talk about the concept of humility. When we talk about faith, it’s important to understand the concepts we say we believe in.
Recently, I took a trip to Seattle to sit on certification committees for chaplains. Chaplains are essentially pastors and ministers out in the world, in hospitals and hospice, the military, nursing homes, prisons and many other community settings.
The certification process is an interview led by an interfaith committee that endorses these individuals. It’s an interesting process to sit and talk with someone about their ministry. The focus of the discussion is on how they live out their principles and ethics in their work. What I realized is that even ministers can struggle to articulate what they believe in and how they live by their principles. What I learned from these interviews is that a little humility goes a long way.
Humility is the ability to step back, to be selfless, unassuming and to place the needs of others before yourself. This takes a lifetime of work and practice. For most of us, we have good days and bad days. What I have experienced is that humility is not weakness but strength. The more we give of ourselves, the more space we have to receive, whether that gift returns to us as something tangible, or as a feeling or knowledge. We don’t regret acts of kindness, we regret the missed opportunities to be our best selves.
The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”
I hope you find space to be your best self this week and in doing so, that your loving kindness is reciprocated.
Rev. Kali DeHart is is a board certified chaplain and member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Sheridan.