blanchard

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

“A great man is always willing to be little.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?”
― Carl Sagan

science

“A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing.”
― Albert Einstein

“Suns are extinguished or become corrupted, planets perish and scatter across the wastes of the sky; other suns are kindled, new planets formed to make their revolutions or describe new orbits, and man, an infinitely minute part of a globe which itself is only an imperceptible point in the immense whole, believes that the universe is made for himself.”
― Paul Henri Thiry d’Holbach

“If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, “He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.”

― Epictetus

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
― C.S. Lewis

“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.”
― Lao Tzu

“Life is a long lesson in humility.”
― J.M. Barrie, The Little Minister

“Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.”
― Andrew Murray

“To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

“Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else.”
― Madeleine L’Engle

cslewis

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Wild Years

“True humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue.”
― Martin Luther

“I have met some highly intelligent believers, but history has no record to say that [s]he knew or understood the mind of god. Yet this is precisely the qualification which the godly must claim—so modestly and so humbly—to possess. It is time to withdraw our ‘respect’ from such fantastic claims, all of them aimed at the exertion of power over other humans in the real and material world.”
― Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

“Learning to believe you are magnificent. And gradually to discover that you are not magnificent. Enough labor for one human life.”
― Czesław Miłosz

“If someone were to ask whether communications skills or meekness is most important to a marriage, I’d answer meekness, hands down. You can be a superb communicator but still never have the humility to ask, ‘Is it I?’ Communication skills are no substitute for Christlike attributes. As Dr. Douglas Brinley has observed, ‘Without theological perspectives, secular exercises designed to improve our relationship and our communication skills (the common tools of counselors and marriage books) will never work any permanent change in one’s heart: they simply develop more clever and skilled fighters!”
― John Bytheway, When Times Are Tough: 5 Scriptures That Will Help You Get Through Almost Anything

 

boy and rabbit

“He didn’t mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn’t matter.”
― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

velveteen rabbit and horse

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”
― Abraham Lincoln

“The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not till then, will he have a glimpse of truth.”
― Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments With Truth

“Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride,
He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little or too much;
Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused or disabused;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl’d;
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!”
― Alexander Pope

“Humility is nothing but truth, and pride is nothing but lying.”
― St. Vincent de Paul

fall

“There are two things that men should never weary of, goodness and humility; we get none too much of them in this rough world among cold, proud people.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped

“The more humble and obedient to God a man is, the more wise and at peace he will be in all that he does.”
― Thomas à Kempis, The Inner Life

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
― Ann Landers

“Until you have suffered much in your heart, you cannot learn humility.”
― Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

“Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.”
― Oscar Wilde

“No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.”
― T.S. Eliot

“One cannot be humble and aware of oneself at the same time.”
― Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet

“No sooner do we believe that God loves us than there is an impulse to believe that He does so, not because He is Love, but because we are intrinsically lovable….It is easy to acknowledge, but almost impossible to realize for long, that we are mirrors whose brightness, if we are bright, is wholly derived from the sun that shines upon us. Surely we must have a little–however little–native luminosity? Surely we can’t be quite creatures? – The Four Loves”
― C.S. Lewis

“The humble listen to their brothers and sisters because they assume they have something to learn. They are open to correction, and they become wiser through it.”
― Thomas Dubay

“To have humility is to experience reality, not in relation to ourselves, but in its sacred independence. It is to see, judge, and act from the point of rest in ourselves. Then, how much disappears, and all that remains falls into place.

In the point of rest at the center of our being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation, each man a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable.”
― Dag Hammarskjöld, Markings

calling

“Here is the path to the higher life: down, lower down! Just as water always seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds men abased and empty, His glory and power flow in to exalt and to bless.”
― Andrew Murray, Humility

“It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility. ”
― Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

“As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, ‘I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal.”
― Harper Lee

“It takes a fearless, unflinching love and deep humility to accept the universe as it is. The most effective way he knew to accomplish that, the most powerful tool at his disposal, was the scientific method, which over time winnows out deception. It can’t give you absolute truth because science is a permanent revolution, always subject to revision, but it can give you successive approximations of reality.”
― Ann Druyan

“The splinter in your eye is the best magnifying-glass available.”
― Theodor W. Adorno

“Humility has nothing to do with depreciating ourselves and our gifts in ways we know to be untrue. Even “humble” attitudes can be masks of pride. Humility is that freedom from our self which enables us to be in positions in which we have neither recognition nor importance, neither power nor visibility, and even experience deprivation, and yet have joy and delight. It is the freedom of knowing that we are not in the center of the universe, not even in the center of our own private universe.”
― David F. Wells, Losing Our Virtue

“If pain doesn’t lead to humility, you have wasted your suffering.”
― Katerina Stoykova Klemer

“Your patient has become humble; have you drawn his attention to the fact? All virtues are less formidable to us once the man is aware that he has them, but this is specially true of humility.”
― C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters

“At some thoughts one stands perplexed – especially at the sight of men’s sin – and wonders whether one should use force or humble love. Always decide to use humble love. If you resolve on that, once and for all, you may subdue the whole world. Loving humility is marvelously strong, the strongest of all things, and there is nothing else like it.”
― Fyodor Dostoevsky

state-christianity

“Humility is just as much the opposite of self-abasement as it is of self-exaltation. To be humble is not to make comparisons. Secure in its reality, the self is neither better nor worse, bigger nor smaller, than anything else in the universe. It *is*–is nothing, yet at the same time one with everything. It is in this sense that humility is absolute self-effacement.

To be nothing in the self-effacement of humility, yet, for the sake of the task, to embody its whole weight and importance in your earing, as the one who has been called to undertake it. To give to people, works, poetry, art, what the self can contribute, and to take, simply and freely, what belongs to it by reason of its identity. Praise and blame, the winds of success and adversity, blow over such a life without leaving a trace or upsetting its balance.”
― Dag Hammarskjöld, Markings

“I’m sure I am wrong about many things, although I’m not sure exactly which things I’m wrong about. I’m even sure I’m wrong about what I think I’m right about in at least some cases.”
― Brian D. McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy

respect

“It stands to reason that anyone who learns to live well will die well. The skills are the same: being present in the moment, and humble, and brave, and keeping a sense of humor. (361)”
― Victoria Moran, Younger by the Day: 365 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body and Revitalize Your Spirit

“Yeah, that’s my experience. Humbling to the point where you have major regrets about some of the stupid things you said, some of the things you thought were right. You keep going to these countries, and it’s like, you forgot the lesson from the last time. Because the first person you encounter kind of bitch-slaps you upside the head in the most wonderful, innocent way and you realize, God, I’m still an asshole. And this guy, by doing nothing except being broke and so incredibly polite—it takes you aback, you realize, I’m still not there yet. I still have like eight miles to go before I can even get into the parking lot of humility. I have to keep going back. It’s like going back to a chiropractor to get a readjustment. That’s me in Africa, that’s me in Southeast Asia. You come back humbled and you bring that into your life. It’s made me much more tolerant of other peoples—and I’m not saying I used to be a misogynist, or I used to be a racist, that was never my problem. But I can be extremely headstrong, impatient, rude. Like, “Hurry up, man. What’s your problem? Get out of my way.” That sentiment comes easy to me. Going to these countries, you realize none of that is necessary, none of it’s cool, it’s nothing Abraham Lincoln would do, and so why are you doing it? Those are the lessons I’ve learned.”
― Henry Rollins

“We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. And this has been based on the even flimsier assumption that we could know with any certainty what was good even for us. We have fulfilled the danger of this by making our personal pride and greed the standard of our behavior toward the world – to the incalculable disadvantage of the world and every living thing in it. And now, perhaps very close to too late, our great error has become clear. It is not only our own creativity – our own capacity for life – that is stifled by our arrogant assumption; the creation itself is stifled.

We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it. We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its limits. But even more important, we must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it. (pg. 20, “A Native Hill”)”
― Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

shipwrecked einstein

“We must never underestimate our power to be wrong when talking about God, when thinking about God, when imagining God, whether in prose or in poetry. A generous orthodoxy, in contrast to the tense, narrow, or controlling orthodoxies of so much of Christian history, doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is humble. It doesn’t claim too much. It admits it walks with a limp.”
― Brian D. McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy

“The theology of littleness is a basic category of Christianity. After all, the tenor of our faith is that God’s distinctive greatness is revealed precisely in powerlessness. That in the long run, the strength of history is precisely in those who love, which is to say, in a strength that, properly speaking, cannot be measured according to categories of power. So in order to show who he is, God consciously revealed himself in the powerlessness of Nazareth and Golgotha. Thus, it is not the one who can destroy the most who is the most powerful…but, on the contrary, the least power of love is already greater than the greatest power of destruction.”
― Pope Benedict XVI

“ The least known among the virtues and also the most misunderstood is the virtue of humility. Yet, it is the very groundwork of Christianity. Humility is a grace of the soul that cannot be expressed in words and is only known by experience. It is an unspeakable treasure of God, and only can be called the gift of God. “Learn,” He said, not from angels, not from men, not from books; but learn from My presence, light, and action within you, “that I am meek and humble of heart, and you shall find rest to your souls”. ”
― William Bernard Ullathorne

“The most considerable difference I note among men is not in their readiness to fall into error, but in their readiness to acknowledge these inevitable lapses.”
― Thomas Henry Huxley

“Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers and sacrifices of his friends.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower

“One should preach not from one’s rational mind but rather from the heart. Only that which is from the heart can touch another heart. One must never attack or oppose anyone. If he who preaches must tell people to keep away from a certain kind of evil, he must do so meekly and humbly, with fear of God.”
― Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

“With so much effort being poured into church growth, so much press being given to the benefits of faith, and so much flexing of religious muscle in the public square, the poor in spirit have no one but Jesus to call them blessed anymore.”
― Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith

patient heart

“Until we understand what the land is, we are at odds with everything we touch. And to come to that understanding it is necessary, even now, to leave the regions of our conquest – the cleared fields, the towns and cities, the highways – and re-enter the woods. For only there can a man encounter the silence and the darkness of his own absence. Only in this silence and darkness can he recover the sense of the world’s longevity, of its ability to thrive without him, of his inferiority to it and his dependence on it. Perhaps then, having heard that silence and seen that darkness, he will grow humble before the place and begin to take it in – to learn from it what it is. As its sounds come into his hearing, and its lights and colors come into his vision, and its odors come into his nostrils, then he may come into its presence as he never has before, and he will arrive in his place and will want to remain. His life will grow out of the ground like the other lives of the place, and take its place among them. He will be with them – neither ignorant of them, nor indifferent to them, nor against them – and so at last he will grow to be native-born. That is, he must reenter the silence and the darkness, and be born again.
(pg. 27, “A Native Hill”)”
― Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

“I want a man who knows something about himself. And is appalled. And has to forgive himself to get along.”
― C.P. Snow, The Masters

“When you’re thinking, please remember this: excessive pride is a familiar sin, but a man may just as easily frustrate the will of God through excessive humility.”
― Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth

“I’m a writer by profession and it’s totally clear to me that since I started blogging, the amount I write has increased exponentially, my daily interactions with the views of others have never been so frequent, the diversity of voices I engage with is far higher than in the pre-Internet age—and all this has helped me become more modest as a thinker, more open to error, less fixated on what I do know, and more respectful of what I don’t. If this is a deterioration in my brain, then more, please.

wisdom

“The problem is finding the space and time when this engagement stops, and calm, quiet, thinking and reading of longer-form arguments, novels, essays can begin. Worse, this also needs time for the mind to transition out of an instant gratification mode to me a more long-term, thoughtful calm. I find this takes at least a day of detox. Getting weekends back has helped. But if there were a way to channel the amazing insights of blogging into the longer, calmer modes of thinking … we’d be getting somewhere.

“I’m working on it.”
― Andrew Sullivan

“Harshaw had the arrogant humility of the man who has learned so much that he is aware of his own ignorance and he saw no point in ‘measurements’ when he did not know what he was measuring.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

“But that is the nature of true grace and spiritual light, that it opens to a person’s view the infinite reason there is that he should be holy in a high degree. And the more grace he has, and the more this is opened to view, the greater sense he has of the infinite excellency and glory of the divine Being, and of the infinite dignity of the person of Christ, and the boundless length and breadth and depth and height of the love of Christ to sinners. And as grace increases, the field opens more and more to a distant view, until the soul is swallowed up with the vastness of the object, and the person is astonished to think how much it becomes him to love this God and this glorious Redeemer that has so loved man, and how little he does love. And so the more he apprehends, the more the smallness of his grace and love appears strange and wonderful: and therefore he is more ready to think that others are beyond him.”
― Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections

ruskin

“You have swept up tea leaves from the tatami mats;
hand peeled sun dried Japanese squash seeds;
cleaned the floors with the water that was used to clean the rice;
and finally you used your frequent super saver point card to save a few bucks,
to buy some nikuman to eat!!

Lucu Lucu book 3 ch.19 p.12”
― Asari Yoshitoo

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
― Ernest Hemingway

“Amory, sorry for them, was still not sorry for himself – art, politics, religion, whatever his medium should be, he knew he was safe now, free from all hysteria – he could accept what was acceptable, roam, grow, rebel, sleep deep through many nights…
There was no God in his heart, he knew; his ideas were still in riot; there was ever the pain of memory; the regret for his lost youth – yet the waters of disillusion had left a deposit on his soul, responsibility and a love of life, the faint stirring of old ambitions and unrealized dreams…
And he could not tell why the struggle was worth while, why he had determined to use to the utmost himself and his heritage from the personalities he had passed…
He stretched out his arms to the crystalline, radiant sky.
“I know myself,” he cried, “but that is all.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

“Humility is the only soil in which the graces root; the lack of humility is the sufficient explanation of every defect and failure. Humility is not so much a grace or virtue along with others; it is the root of all, because it alone takes the right attitude before God, and allows Him as God to do all.”
― Andrew Murray, Humility

“For me, walking in a hard Dakota wind can be like staring at the ocean: humbled before its immensity, I also have a sense of being at home on this planet, my blood so like the sea in chemical composition, my every cell partaking of air. I live about as far from the sea as is possible in North America, yet I walk in a turbulent ocean. Maybe that child was right when he told me that the world is upside-down here, and this is where angels drown.”
― Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography

shipwrecked einstein

“He was not utterly unskilled in handling his own lack of training, and he refused to be rashly drawn into a controversy about those matters from which there would be no exit nor easy way of retreat. This was an additional ground for my pleasure. For the controlled modesty of a mind that admits limitations is more beautiful than the things I was anxious to know about.”
― Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

“When I look at the clues that indicate the nature of Jesus – born in a barn, questionable parents, spotty ancestry, common name, misdirected announcement, unattractive looks, reared in a bad neighborhood, owning nothing, surrounding himself with unattractive co-workers, and dying a shameful death – I find his whole approach unable to fit into the methods that automatically come to mind when I think about “winning the world.” His whole approach could easily be described as nonthreatening or nonmanipulative. He seemed to lead with weakness in each step of life. He had nothing in the world and everything in God and the Spirit.”
― Gayle D. Erwin, The Jesus Style

“The disillusionment with our own abilities is, perhaps, one of the most important things that can ever happen to us.”

“These are the few ways we can practice humility:

To speak as little as possible of one’s self.

To mind one’s own business.

Not to want to manage other people’s affairs.

To avoid curiosity.

To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.

To pass over the mistakes of others.

To accept insults and injuries.

To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked.

To be kind and gentle even under provocation.

Never to stand on one’s dignity.

To choose always the hardest.”
― Mother Teresa, The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living

speaking truth

“The main condition for the achievement of love is the overcoming of one’s narcissism. The narcissistic orientation is one in which one experiences as real only that which exists within oneself, while the phenomena in the outside world have no reality in themselves, but are experienced only from the viewpoint of their being useful or dangerous to one. The opposite pole to narcissism is objectivity; it is the faculty to see other people and things as they are, objectively, and to be able to separate this objective picture from a picture which is formed by one’s desires and fears.”

“The faculty to think objectively is reason; the emotional attitude behind reason is that of humility. To be objective, to use one’s reason, is possible only if one has achieved an attitude of humility, if one has emerged from the dreams of omniscience and omnipotence which one has as a child. Love, being dependent on the relative absence of narcissism, requires the developement of humility, objectivity and reason.

I must try to see the difference between my picture of a person and his behavior, as it is narcissistically distorted, and the person’s reality as it exists regardless of my interests, needs and fears.”
― Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

“We need mystery. Creator in her wisdom knew this. Mystery fills us with awe and wonder. They are the foundations of humility, and humility is the foundation of all learning. So we do not seek to unravel this. We honour it by letting it be that way forever.”

The quote of a grandmother explaining The Great Mystery of the universe to her grandson.”
― Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse

“The essence of humility in Step 3 is acknowledging and accepting our dependence on God. The essence of faith is trusting God. – p. 167”
― Ray A., Practice These Principles: Living the Spiritual Disciplines and Virtues in 12-Step Recovery to Achieve Spiritual Growth, Character Development, and Emotional Sobriety

real

 

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