Reading is an act of relaxation for me. I sit down, think along with the author (like a conversation), and perhaps have a new understanding of life.
A few days ago the phrase, “humility is more important than happiness,” struck me with force. I wasn’t pushed back in my chair, but my brain cells went ballistic.
You see, as I look around this world, I’m constantly struck by bluster and arrogance, self confidence and boasting, pride and disregard for others. Perhaps this has been accentuated by the Presidential campaign in the United States. Perhaps I’m just getting older and realizing how little is achieved by strutting your achievements and accomplishments. We’ll all die in the end and our tombstone will mark our life and death.
I am particularly embarrassed by white teeth and the proclamation that happiness is all the proud are seeking. I don’t see it!!
What I do see is people who are kind, generous, and humble living in the memories of those they care for. I do see is children attracted to gracious grandparents who don’t presume to give advice without first recognizing that they don’t know everything. I do see a state of union that is achieved by the poor, the needy and the unassuming.
And here’s the thing (a warning that this is not my own thinking – but that of Sarah Lebar Hall), humility is better than happiness. In fact, humility will make the world a better place, God a better champion of your life, and you a better person. As Sarah says (paraphrasing Paul, the apostle):
“I’m learning to be okay with operating at diminished capacity, operating with serious limitations, because when I am at my lowest ebb, God’s work through me is at its best. My weakness gives God a chance to show up and show off.”