Is humility unrealistic in today’s society?
Modern society is full of labels and stereotypes: poor, rich, enemy, ally, good, evil, conservative or liberal. Labels can inhibit humble openness to others. They point a finger at the "other" and in the process make it almost impossible for us to listen to each other and value each other as persons. Even worse, labels create divisions and stifle accountability and honesty about our own weaknesses and self-interests. In today's society humility seems unrealistic in this context because it asks for mutual responsibility and inter-dependence in a world that values hegemony and self-interest. This is true for individuals as well as nations. It is true within communities of faith as well as the marketplace. The opposite of humility is not arrogance. It is indifference and heedlessness. To become heedless is to assert one's life at the expense of the lives of other people, the desert mothers and fathers exhort us not to act in a heedless manner lest we forget who we are and cause 'unnecessary harm to others.
David G.R. Keller
Oasis of Wisdom, p. 140