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Cultivating Humility

Discussion in 'Spiritual Articles' started by Jaspreet08, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Jaspreet08

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    Feb 2, 2008
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    Please list any suggestions you may have in cultivating humility (Nimrata).

    I have found that being quiet and talking less helps. It helps because you listen to what is being said, instead of throwing your quick opinion out there that you know more.
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  3. truthseeker

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    Aug 12, 2004
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    Just adding to what Jaspreet08 ji said, giving your full attention, and trully listening to what they have to say :)
  4. Archived_Member16

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    Jan 7, 2005
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    1. Appreciate your talents. Being humble doesn't mean you can't feel good about yourself. Self-esteem is not the same as pride. Both come from a recognition of your own talents and qualities, but pride--the kind of pride that leans toward arrogance--is rooted in insecurity about them. Think about the abilities you have and be thankful for them.
    2. Understand your limitations. No matter how talented you are, there is almost always somebody who can do something better than you can. Even if you are the best in the world at doing one thing, there are other things--important, worthwhile things--that you cannot do, and you may never be able to do some of these things. Add to this the fact that there are a great many things that no person can do, and you can get some idea of your limitations. Recognizing your limitations does not mean abandoning your dreams, and it doesn't mean giving up on learning new things or improving your existing abilities. It does mean coming to terms with the very real limits of your abilities.
    3. Recognize your own faults. We judge others because it's a lot easier than looking at our own faults. Unfortunately, it's also completely unproductive and, in many cases, harmful. Judging others causes strife in relationships, and it prevents new relationships from forming. Perhaps even worse, it prevents us from trying to improve ourselves. We make judgments about others all the time, and we often don't even realize it. As a practical exercise, try to catch yourself in the act of judging another person or group of people, and whenever you do, judge yourself instead and consider how you could improve yourself.
    4. Stop comparing. Why? Because, it's just about impossible to be humble when we're striving to be the "best" or trying to be "better" than others. Instead, try describing things more objectively. Rather than saying that so and so is the best guitarist ever, say what exactly it is that you appreciate about his skills, or simply say that you like his playing style. Let go of meaningless, simplistic comparisons, and you'll be able to enjoy doing things without worrying about whether you're better or worse at them than others.
    5. Appreciate the talents and qualities of others. Challenge yourself to look at others and appreciate the things they can do and, more generally, to appreciate people for who they are. Understand that everybody is different and relish the chance you have to experience different people. You will still have your personal tastes, your likes and dislikes, but train yourself to separate your opinions from your fears and you will appreciate others more--you will be humbler.
    6. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Never be afraid to admit that you made a mistake. Part of being humble is understanding that you will make mistakes. Understand this, and understand that everyone else makes mistakes, and you will have a heavy burden lifted off of you. Why do we make mistakes? Because we don't know everything. Any one person can know only the smallest bits and pieces of the tremendous knowledge that has accumulated over the past. What's more, we experience only a sliver of the present, and we know nothing of the future.
    7. Don't be afraid to defer to others' judgment. It's easy to acknowledge that you make mistakes and that you're not always right. Somewhat more difficult however, is the ability to acknowledge that in many cases other people--even people who disagree with you--may be right. Deferring to your spouse's wishes, to a law you don't agree with, or even, sometimes, to your child's opinion takes your recognition of your limitations to a different level. Instead of simply saying that you know that you're fallible, you take action based on that fact. Of course, if you know that a particular course of action is wrong, you shouldn't follow it. On closer inspection, though, you may realize that you don't actually know this as often as you think you do.
    8. Rejuvenate your sense of wonder. Because we, as individuals, know practically nothing, you'd expect that we'd be awestruck more often than we typically are. Children have this sense of wonder, and it inspires the curiosity that makes them such keen observers and capable learners. Do you really know how your microwave works? Could you build one on your own? What about your car? Your brain? A rose? The jaded, "I've seen it all" attitude makes us feel far more important than we are. Be amazed like a child and you will not only be humbled; you will also be readier to learn.
    9. Seek guidance. Contemplate moral texts and proverbs about humility. Pray for it, meditate on it, do whatever it takes to get your attention off yourself. If you're not into spirituality, consider the scientific method or vipassana. Science requires humility. It requires that you let go of your preconceived notions and judgments and understand that you don't know as much as you think you do.
    10. Think about yourself under different circumstances. Much of what we give ourselves credit for should actually be credited to luck. Suppose you graduate from an Ivy League university at the top of your class. You definitely deserve a lot of credit for the many hours of studying and for your perseverance. Consider though, that there may be somebody just as intelligent and hardworking as you who simply had different parents, grew up in a different place, or simply had the bad luck to make one wrong choice in life. That person - you, really - might be in jail now, or they might have been killed in a war or starved to death. Always remember that with a little bad luck yesterday, your whole life could be different today and, furthermore, that today could be the day your luck changes.
    11. Help others. A big part of being humble is respecting others, and part of respecting others is helping them. Treat other people as equals and help them because it is the right thing to do. It's been said that when you can help others who cannot possibly help you in return, you have learned humility.

    • Keep in mind that being humble has many benefits. Humility can help you be more content with your life, and it can also help you endure bad times and improve your relationships with others. It's also essential to being an effective learner. If you think you know it all, you won't be open-minded enough to seek out new knowledge. Humility is also, somewhat counter-intuitively, an excellent tool for self-development in general. After all, if you feel superior, you have no incentive to improve. Most of all, being humble allows you to be honest with yourself.

    • Pretending to be humble isn't the same as being humble, and often people who pretend to be humble do it in order to seek out praise. Other people will recognize this, and even if you fool some, you won't derive the same benefits as you would through actually developing humility.
    • Similarly, don't confuse being humble with being sycophantic (being overly-praiseful of someone for your own profit). This is a common misconception, but the two attitudes are completely different.
    source: How to Be Humble - wikiHow

    Nimrata is a virtue that is vigorously promoted by Gurbani. The literal translation of this Punjabi word is "Humility", "Benevolence" or "Humbleness." Someone whose mind is not poisoned by the thought that he or she is better or more important than others. This is a very important quality for all humans to nurture and one that is an essential part of a Sikh's Mind Set and must accompany the Sikh at all times. The other four qualities in the arsenal are: Truth (Sat), Contentment (Santokh), Compassion (Daya) and Love (Pyar). These five qualities are essential to a Sikh and it is their duty to meditate and recite Gurbani so that these virtues become a part of their personality.

    The importance given to Humility in Sikhism can be seen from the following Shabads from SGGS:

    SGGS Page 235 Full Shabad The fruit of humility is intuitive peace and pleasure. My True Guru has given me this gift. ((1)(Pause))

    SGGS Page 273 Full Shabad The God-conscious being shall never perish. The God-conscious being is steeped in humility.

    SGGS Page 1084 Full Shabad First, is the Lord`s Praise; second, contentment; third, humility, and fourth, giving to charities. Fifth is to hold one`s desires in restraint. These are the five most sublime daily prayers.

    SGGS Page 1245 Full Shabad Lacking truth and humility, they shall not be appreciated in the world hereafter.

    SGGS Page 1384 Full Shabad Humility is the word, forgiveness is the virtue, and sweet speech is the magic mantra. Wear these three robes, O sister, and you will captivate your Husband Lord. ((127))

    SGGS Page 1397 Full Shabad The armor of self-restraint, truth, contentment and humility can never be pierced.
    SGGS Page 1411 Full Shabad He chants and meditates, and practices austerity and good deeds. He keeps to the Dharma, with faith, humility and contentment.

    And if you do not practise humility, truth, abstinence or self-discipline then what is in store for you:
    SGGS Page 906 Full Shabad You do not practice truth, abstinence, self-discipline or humility; the ghost within your skeleton has turned to dry wood….. When the Messenger of Death grabs you by your hair, you will be punished. You are unconscious, and have fallen into Death`s mouth. ((3))

    source: Nimrata - SikhiWiki, free Sikh encyclopedia.

    >>>>>>> THE SIKH WAY = SEVA + SIMRAN + SANGAT <<<<<<<
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  5. Jaspreet08

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    Feb 2, 2008
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    Good stuff, Soul Jyot ji. Thank you.


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