Although humility is commonly equated with a sense of unworthiness low self- regard, true humility is a rich, multifaceted construct that is characterised by an accurate assessment of ones characteristics, an ability to acknowledge limitation and a forgetting of the self.
The key elements of humility seem to include the following:
1. An accurate assessment of ones abilities and achievements (not low self-esteem, self-deprecation)
2. An ability to acknowledge ones mistakes, imperfections, gaps in knowledge and limitations.
3. Openness to new ideas, contradictory information and advice.
4. Keeping ones abilities and accomplishments – ones place in the world – in perspective (eg. Seeing oneself as just one person in the larges scheme of things.)
5. A relatively low self-focus, a forgetting of the self while recognizing that one is but a part of the larger universe.
6. An Appreciating of the value of all things, as well as many different ways that people and things can contribute to our world.
Parents, teachers, leaders and community leaders all play a role in modelling (or not modelling) a sense of humility for the subsequent generation.
Throughout early years individual learns important lessons about themselves, the world and their place in the world.
As they mature, a sense of humility maybe further fostered by exposure to different people and cultures, by life changing events (illness, accident, birth of a child, marriage) by religious beliefs or by other types of transcendental experiences.