Life has demonstrated, repeatedly, that I feel much, understand little and know essentially nothing. People that constantly work on themselves, their weaknesses, spirituality and shit, use to annoy me, but no longer do I avoid them, I aspire to be them.
When I was an undergrad I worked in an “Independent Retirement Home” and there were two types of old people 1) Assholes/Bitches 2) Gentlemen/Ladies. I didn’t then understand why the #1’s seemed so miserable and angry all the time, so out of place and imbalanced, but now as I approach 40, I am beginning to understand. Looking back it’s easy to see what they didn’t do as adults; they didn’t grow up, they stopped growing—as if they hit 30 and decided that was who they were going to be, emotionally and otherwise.
The #2’s had a happiness about them, a general joy with life that made them enjoyable to be around. Even when things weren’t going well for them, they handled it with such grace, that I knew, on some level, they had something I wanted. At the time I believed it was simply a better life they had lived that made them happy people, but their happiness had very little, or nothing, to do with how much they made, how far they traveled or how big their homes were. What made them happy was their constant openness to growth, and thus, life.
It’s quite cliche to go on about always growing and learning, so instead let’s sum it up with the word Humble. I prefer the following definition of the word, since Merriam-Webster hasn’t gotten this one quite right.
Humble: to behave in such a way that shows empathy while maintaining confidence without a better-than attitude; to remain open to growth, information and other’s perspectives without assuming an all-knowing attitude.
Humility: Don’t go through life without it, and once you believe you have it, keep going.