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A 16 Guidelines view on


Humility is the attitude of experiencing the world and what it contains with wonder and awe. It is about seeing ourselves as a small part of a vast cosmos, inhabited by people and creatures from whom we can learn.

Humility is quiet strength. In some cultures it is considered quite normal to be loud and assertive about what we think and what we want. Yet there is something dignified about people who are sincerely humble. Even if they are prominent and successful, they have the wisdom and experience to understand their limitations.

A person with humility can see beyond their own viewpoint and interests. They acknowledge that we are all dependent on other people, and that we have unique and sometimes unexpected roles to play in each other’s lives. Humility shifts our perspective from ‘me’ to ‘others’ and is delighted to do so.

Humility comes at the beginning of the 16 Guidelines because it is a starting point. How can we grow and develop if we think we have nothing to learn?c


To be willing and able to learn from others

A reflection on 


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The benefits of


Humility has the potential to:

  • help us learn and grow, through going beyond our own viewpoint and interests

  • awaken us more fully to our interdependence with people, animals and the environment

  • elease us from being closed, insensitive or self-important, which cuts us off from others

Did you know?

People who are humble tend to be more generous with both their time and their money, as well as better able to deal with stressful life events.

Although humility frequently is equated with a sense of unworthiness and low self-regard, philosophers regard true humility as a rich, multifaceted construct that entails an accurate assessment of one's characteristics, an ability to acknowledge limitations, and a forgetting of the self.  However, scientific study of the nature and implications of humility is still in its infancy.

I never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him

Galileo Galilei

When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know; but when you listen, you may learn something new

HH Dalai Lama

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