February 1, 2015 - Humility and self-esteem

February 1, 2015

Humility and self-esteem

In this day and age, it is past say and almost oppressive to speak about humility as a necessary element of a person that is creative and who cultivates interpersonal relationships. Reversely, “specialists” uphold that one must gain self-esteem and feel “good” about one’s self. They also say that this is a prerequisite for someone to create a mature relationship. As a continuation of this, self-esteem is coupled with the freedom of the individual which must be safeguarded as the most cherished thing of one’s being. The consequence of this view is that, in the effort to develop and preserve a good image of one’s self, one minimizes one’s values, one’s educational and cultural level and remains complacent , living in mediocrity. One does not need to change anything in one’s life and his or her relationships. Thus, one projects the slogan “this is the way I am, if you like it that’s fine. If not, you can leave!” In reality, at the end, this stance only annihilates and brings one to a point of death.

The topic of self-esteem evokes the question: on what basis is one’s esteem measured? If it is bases on one’s own self, one will surely fall into deception. If is based solely on the other, one will fall into bewilderment and will also face the danger of losing his or her person. In addition to this, all this rhetoric about self-esteem has created a confusion regarding the meaning of the term “self-respect” and how these two terms are related to the esteem and respect shown towards the other.

Humility, though, does not allow us to remain complacent in a state of mediocrity. Nor does it allow us to remain locked up in a false, narcissistic image of our self. In reality, it brings us before the truth about our self, unveiling the positive and negative sides of our being. Humility creates the possibility for us to be creative within loving relationships; to be a good companion, affable and accepting, allowing others to become a special part of our life. It impels us “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14) , to be partakers in His perfect love. Only then will we obtain the necessary and true esteem and respect for ourselves and that of others.

+SK