C. S. Lewis captures the essence of humility in his Screwtape Letters, writing:
“By this virtue, as by all others, [God] wants to turn [our] attention away from self, to him and [to our] neighbors.”
For Lewis, humility is not a matter of thinking less of ourselves—but less about ourselves, forgetting ourselves and turning outward in love.
“[God] wants to bring [us] to a state of mind in which [we] could design the best cathedral in the world and know it to be the best and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than [we] would be if it had been done by another. [God] wants [us], in the end, to be so free from any bias in [our] own favor that we can rejoice in our own talents as frankly and gratefully as in our neighbor’s talents—or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall. [God] wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognize all creatures (even ourselves) as glorious and excellent things…. He would rather [us] think ourselves a great architect or a great poet and then forget about it, than that [we] should spend much time and pains trying to think [ourselves] a bad one.”
Humility is a lifelong challenge for most of us.
Easier some days, more difficult the next.
Ego and pride sneak all too easily into our talk and thoughts. Thinking of ourselves first becomes natural (and even encouraged) as we interact with others and society at large.
Take joy in the beauty and excellence around you. Forget yourself. Turn outward in love.
Make it a great day.