When I think of humility, it is not low self-esteem, it is however, a solid understanding of oneself and a love for oneself. It is an honest acknowledgment that all people have value, and that we should not raise ourselves above each other, as in the quoted definition, narcissists do. Mandela is described as “Humble,” his humility in my mind, is the correct one. A sense of yourself but also an acknowledgment that the world does not revolve around one individual and we must treat others with respect and being full of one’s own importance sits in direct opposition to this.
True leaders, and in my opinion beautiful people do not have to boast about themselves, and they do not boast about themselves or their achievements, which in essence makes others feel inadequate, they are at peace with who they are and can love with an open heart, from a humble perspective. Of course Jesus Christ, and Martin Luther King Jnr (he also writes about this a lot, especially in “Strength to Love”), along with many other brilliant and transcendent people are examples of this.
I think of humility as a more personal attribute rather than the traditional view which was to acknowledge a hierarchy. Humility to me, is accepting our own faults, without blaming others for these and not seeking to deny them, that in essence is what a narcissist does, he/she does not acknowledge they have faults, and therefore they are extremely dishonest and proud, the opposite of humility.
Humility is a rare and exquisite quality, that is sadly lacking in our narcissistic, self-centred world. If we all, actually chose to think of other people’s needs and desires as important, the world would be a much better place. (Though I am not talking about putting up with incorrect behaviour, or not having boundaries, these are essential for healthy relating, and creating better people.)
Humility (adjectival form: humble) is variously seen as the act or posture of lowering oneself in relation to others, or conversely, having a clear perspective, and therefore respect, for one’s place in context. In a religious context this can mean a recognition of self in relation to a deity or deities, acceptance of one’s defects, and submission to divine grace or as a member of an organized, hierarchical religion. Absent a religious context humility can still take on a moral and/or ethical dimension.
Humility, in various interpretations, is widely seen as a virtue in many religious and philosophical traditions, often in contrast to narcissism, hubris and other forms of pride.