The Importance of Humility

The Importance of Humility

By Elizabeth Barrera

I’ve been stuck in a really, unfortunate predicament, and it’s something that was completely out of my control. It was more of someone doing unintentional harm to me (or so I’d like to think), but if I’m completely honest and put all my feelings aside, it was more of them being selfish and not thinking of how they were harming others along the way. Unfortunately, because of these selfish acts, I’m now being punished for no actual valid reason. And as much as I hate to say this, it’s part of life. We can do things perfectly again and again, but it won’t matter. Our efforts and talents will go unnoticed, and there won’t be anything for us to do, except know our worth and value. My situation was work related. I had the perfect job, and according to the feedback I was receiving, I also had excellent performance, until for some reason it suddenly wasn’t enough. However, situations like these aren’t only limited to work. They may be in relation to romance, friendships, work, or even extracurricular activities. But I’m not here to talk about this completely unfortunate situation. Instead, I want to address one thing I have learned throughout this experience, and that’s the importance of maintaining your humility.

Whether it be in the workforce, school, sports, or social situations, maintaining your humility is the most important aspect when you’re on the come up. Why? Because if you’re coming close to a failure, and you you feel that you’re falling or that the ground isn’t steady, you’ll have people there to catch you - people who will have your back. You’ll see them willingly putting themselves out there to defend your honor and even go that extra mile to ensure that you’re okay.

But if you’re egotistic, and have been belittling people and patronizing them, they will not go out of their way to have your back, they will not help you, and that’s on you. You will not be on their priority list when you seek a recommendation or advice. They will not sacrifice their free time to help you search for solutions. It won’t happen that way. They won’t put in effort for a selfish and arrogant person. They will not help someone who is conceited and patronizing. But if you maintain that humility, people will always want to reach out to you. People will feel comfortable around you and they will be naturally drawn to you. They’ll offer a helping hand without you even asking, they’ll check in on you to see how you’re doing, and this will be because they want to see you succeed. They’ll desire seeing you reach your full potential, rather than mock and laugh at you when you fail. Good people don’t show off their success. Good people don’t make others feel less because of the differences in accomplishments, or for any reason at all. Rather than making you feel that way, they’re going to do everything in their power to help you and mentor you so you reach your full potential. They will want you to reach that same level of success they have earned. They’re going to network in your name, and find a way to get you in that same level so you can be their equal.  

So for all those of you graduating with a full-time job, don’t look down on classmates who are still stuck with the same internship or no job at all. Don’t frown upon your high school friends who are just getting started on their undergraduate journey. You are all reaching success at different points of your life. It doesn’t matter if you got pregnant in high school and are going back to school five years later. It doesn’t matter if you graduated from college three years ago and still can’t find a full-time job in your field of study. All of our clocks tick at the same speed, but not all of us have the same story to tell.

The important part of it all is that regardless of the time frame or significance of your success, maintaining your humility is essential. Think about it this way, no leader or person of historical significance (the ones we look up to), is arrogant, selfish, patronizing, or entitled. They are all humble. So if you are all about being successful, be my guest, I’m on that same boat. But be proud of your accomplishments quietly. Do not be boastful and do not belittle others. Instead, help others. Success isn’t just measured by what you’ve accomplished, but it’s also measured in how you impact other people. So if you’re able to maintain that humility, remain true to yourself and help others reach that same level of success. This is when you know you’ve won. But make sure that when you do win, you also remember your losses.  

Remember where you came from and remember where your starting point was. Remember all you’ve struggled to get to where you are, and be compassionate of others. You were once there too. So yes, aim to be a winner, but also aim to be humble through it all.

Power Lunch: President of West Valley College

Power Lunch: President of West Valley College

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