It is good to be confident in yourself and to always strive to be the best you can be. Yet, truly successful people strive not only to be their best, but to be great in how they treat others.and celebrate their talents.
For example, you may have seen an athlete who scores a touchdown, drops the ball and goes down on his knees to give thanks for his achievement. Or another player who scores but then runs around the field pointing at himself and calling attention to his or her achievement. One of these people is being humble and grateful, while the other is being arrogant and boastful.
Humility is not just for the ball field, it is something to apply to every aspect of your life. It is about being courteous and saying “please” and “thank you” all the time, not occasionally. It is about being able to apologize to others even if you are just slightly in the wrong. It is also about listening and open to learning from others. Being humble is recognizing that everyone has different strengths and paying complements to other people.
As a young person, humility is one of the most important things you can develop. Being humble makes you a better person, a better student and a better teammate. Here are some great quotes on the topic of humility:
- “A great man is always willing to be little.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Being humble means that we are not on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others.” – Gordon B. Hinckley
- “Pride is concerned with WHO is right. Humility is concerned with WHAT is right.” – Ezra Taft Benson
- “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis
- “On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.” – Michel de Montaigne
- “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
- “Every person that you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
- “Without humility, there can be no humanity.” – John Buchan
- “It is always the secure who are humble.” – G.K. Chesterton
- “A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing.” – Albert Einstein
- “Life is a long lesson in humility.” – J.M. Barrie
- “You shouldn’t gloat about anything you’ve done; you ought to keep going and find something better to do.” – David Packard
- “None are so empty as those who are full of themselves.” – Benjamin Whichcote
- “Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.” – John Madden
- “Build me a son who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.” – Douglas MacArthur
- Click here for a bunch of great IMK stories and videos about that demonstrate humility in action.
- Check out other quotations about gratitude and sportsmanship.
Topics for Discussion:
- Which quotes above hit home with you the most? Why?
- Have you ever bragged about something? Or been humble about something that you’ve accomplished? How did each make you feel?
- Talk about a humble person. What makes them humble?
- Can you remember a story that you have read where the characters have shown humility? Or how about a story where a character was not humble?
- What are some things you can do be more humble?
- The next time you find yourself wanting to call attention to your accomplishments, take a moment and pause. Think about…. See how it makes you feel.
- Participate in activities that help others in need. Find a cause that you care about, such as animals, and find something you can do to help. Click here for a great list of ideas to help animals from the ASPCA or here for ways to help the environment.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.