If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room. — Confucius
Humility is not thinking of yourself ĺess but thinking less of yourself. ~C.S. Lewis
I stumbled onto a YouTube channpel where a man and his guests discuss social and! political issues. It was interesting. He had a young man, high school student his guest. I was glued. That young man was intelligent and smart as a whip. He was quite articulate. I think he grew up in a home where he was allowed to express himself, where education was strongly encouraged. He was not even 18 years old. As algorithm had it, another channel popped up in my screen. It was a young woman. She too was very intelligent and sharp as two edged sword. She had less than two years of college but she sounded more like college professors.
I thought of that famous adage that says to leave the room if you’re the smartest person. It’s telling us that humility breeds knowledge. Stick around and learn something from another whether young or old, rich or poor or whatever their status may be.
If you are the smartest in the room, then that leaves very little for you to learn, unless you are the smartest in the room and realize that everyone has something they are good at, something to say, some experience that would benefit the others.
Humility breeds knowledge and growth.
Humble people have an accurate view of themselves. They acknowledge their mistakes and limitations, are open to other viewpoints and ideas, keep their accomplishments and abilities in perspective, have a low self-focus, and appreciate the value of all things, including other people. It’s the same as self-acceptance of all the good, the bad, and the ugly – our integrated being. It keeps jealousy at bay.
My mentor once said to me, “Don’t think and feel that you always need to be right. Surround yourself with smart people that you respect. Find people who will help you cultivate special skill in particular field.”
That being said, if every time you’re at social interaction, you’re with the same people or people who have similar values, you’re not growing. Chuck Swindoll calls them “perpetual adolescents”. You risk becoming a clone of everyone else without even realizing it. Your true self is so dead and buried under that false facade, masking the private despair.
Hebrew meaning of humility is a picture of “a harnessed strength”. Think of a strong and wild Clydesdale horse weighing about 2200 pounds. It can tear a house down and kill any man on his track. His foot is as big as dinner plate of about 12 inch diameter. That’s huge and very dangerous. But a team of harnessed Clydesdale horses can pull a house and move it to another location controlled by a smart and gentle rider. One can be so strong and smart, holding a high position with accomplishments to boot and lots of money but foolish, dis-eased with hubrisism can destroy everything in his way.
God can harness you in his love and gentleness (anger under control). Let him hold the rein, keeping you from self-destructive attitudes and behaviors but leading, taking you to your greater potential. He gives us gifts and leads us to where our gifts are well used to serve others effectively. Our higher calling is to serve others. When you know that He who love you most also knows you the best holds the rein, you know you’re in good hands. You don’t have to prove anything.
Smart people help us up our game. And smart people, if they are truly smart, know the value of kindness and generosity and are likely to throw some of it your way.
God, what we know not, teach us. What we have not, give us. What we are not, make us for your Son’s sake. AMEN