“With pride, there are many curses. With humility, there come many blessings.” — Ezra Taft Benson
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Socrates famously stated that the unexamined life is not worth living.
And he meant it. Literally.
When told to stop asking questions, he refused, and was sentenced to death. He went down asking questions right up until the end.
For Socrates, he knew that he knew nothing. Rather than holding false illusions of pride, he instead lived with great humility, admitting that he still had much to learn—even after the Oracle of Delphi declared him to be the wisest of them all.
There is a certain genius in this fascinated curiosity, to ask questions and view others as worthy teachers—enabling a growth mindset to gain new knowledge and skills while at the same time serving to make other people look good rather than seeking to look good ourselves.
As students, this is an invaluable skill to foster, and as educators, becoming a “guide on the side” rather than a “sage on a stage” can empower students to become co-facilitators of their own learning and encourage them to accept ownership of the experience.
To quote C.S. Lewis: “If anyone would like to acquire humility...the first step is to realize that one is proud…If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.”
In other words, to fill your vessel you must first empty it of any preconceived notions preventing new knowledge and skills from getting in.
How do you bring humility to your learning experiences?
Jonas Cain is an educator, facilitator, and coach, working to engage, empower, and encourage leaders and the people they serve to experience joy.