C.S. Lewis once said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” This quote by Lewis conveys the importance of being humble. Knowing how important being a humble person is, I realize the human capacity I most want to nurture in myself is humility.
To me, humility is a powerful characteristic and it is tough to acquire. I have grown up in church, and I have always been taught to put others first and not to boast. Honestly, this has always been a struggle for me. Our world today is very competitive and everyone wants to be better than someone. Most people want to tell others about their accomplishments and things they are proud of, which is not always bad. However, when it becomes a normal or natural thing, it turns into a poor attribute.
This past summer, I went on a mission trip to Sololá, Guatemala. When I was there, I saw many people that are not as fortunate as Americans. I know everyone is not blessed where we live, but more than half of the people in Guatemala do not have enough money for shelter, clothes, and food. It broke me to see people living their day-to-day lives like this, and it made me realize how lucky and fortunate we are.
While I was in Guatemala, I stayed at an orphanage, called Eagle’s Nest. I had the opportunity to take care of kids that have never had a steady homelife and were sent to live at this orphanage. During this trip, I was able to forget about myself and focus on the things the children needed and wanted. It forced me to forget about the things I think are important and made me focus on the kids. I did what they always wanted to do and played with them even when I was exhausted or did not want to. This was a fantastic experience and it challenged me to think less about myself. I always think about the orphans and everyone else I met and saw there as well as how much it changed me. I believe this trip helped me nurture humility in myself.
One saying that makes me think is, “Show me your five closest friends and I will show you your future.” I have recently realized that this statement is very true, but it doesn’t only apply to friends. It applies to everyone one spends time with. To become more humble, I need to surround myself with people who have this same view. If I am always with people who enjoy bragging and thinking the most important thing in life is being better than everyone, then I will pick up their characteristics.
Some of the people that have helped me be more humble are my church youth and my family. These people will call me out on when I am not focusing on others and only thinking about myself. Both my friends from church and my family, help me stay centered on the importance of developing this characteristic in my life. Not only will they be vulnerable to me, but I also know I can trust them to help me. If I get off course, they bring me back to where I need to be easily because they have the same beliefs as me and that is very important.
Working with Children Requires Humility
For me, I have always wanted to work with children when I grow up. I love kids with all of my heart and to do anything with them for a living would be a dream for me. I believe jobs such as a pediatric nurse or teaching, especially special ed, would help me develop more humility. When working with kids, I would have to put their needs before mine no matter what, and they will always need or want my help. For teaching, young children are going to need my help and a lot of my time. I will have to help them with more than just school work, I will also have to put myself in their shoes and understand what they are going through.
There will also be some points I would want to do things for myself and think of myself as the most important person, but they are the ones that are important. They come to school for me to teach them and I will have to stop thinking about myself. For pediatric nursing, I would have to do the same as teaching. The children come to me to help them and figure out what I can do to help them. These jobs might be challenging and frustrating at times, but I would need to humble myself and put the children at the center of attention.
I believe the best way to nurture humility into my daily life is by being consistent with it. The natural reaction for us humans is to talk about ourselves and try to be better than others, but that is the wrong way. I need not boast about myself and practice focusing on others and hearing what they have to say. I need to put others first and always to go out of my way to help others instead of myself. Some ways I could do this is by sitting with a person I don’t want to who is sitting alone. I could also help someone with school work when I would rather do something I want to like be on my phone or talk to people. It will not be easy, but like the saying “practice makes perfect.” Once I keep on trying to focus on others rather than me, I will become better at it and it will become my natural reaction.
In the future, I want to become more humble. In Psalms 149:4 it says, “For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” I believe that if I work on becoming for humble, I will receive many benefits and I will be more satisfied with my life.
Scholarship Essay by Katherine McGee
UCA’s most recent Scholarship Essay Contest for High School Juniors and Seniors officially ended on May 15, 2020. While the theme has always been to explore ways to make a more caring world, our most recent Essay Contest specifically asked how they would make a more caring world in one of four categories – Children – Animals – Reforestation – Elderly. The winning essays have been posted and awards distributed.
Because there were so many impressive essays submitted from across the U.S., we decided to share many of these students’ inspiring caring actions with you in this publication. Through their essays, the students provide a refreshing insight into their minds and hearts, offering an in depth view of our world that we often overlook. They take us on a journey rich in knowledge, personal experience and creative solutions. It is our hope you will feel as informed and inspired as we do. We are proud to present to you the writings, thoughts and dreams for a more caring future through these articles.