Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Value of Humility

I have been considering the subject of compromise and humility lately.  At the Aspen Idea Festival, David Brooks spoke about how we as a nation have turned away from the idea of humility, and into a nation concerned with self-empowerment.  The sixties and seventies spawned the "me" generation.  It seems everyone these days thinks they are above average in most ways.  Most Americans feel that compromise is for those who are unsure or  possess a weak opinion of themselves.  There is a lot of ego involved in this self-confidence -- in effect saying, "I'm right and you're wrong".  Yet, our forefathers compromised heavily to create our nation. They were humbled by the task and held the notion that we were all created equal, with valid points of view. We show our intellect when we acknowledge that others may have ideas that are relevant, and perhaps, ideas that even lead us to change our outlook.  We show our compassion when we give up a little for the greater good.  I know that in our Montessori schools we present the art of compromise every day.  We respect others and their opinions.  Sometimes, the solution the children arrive at involves giving up a little, and acknowledging the needs and wants of others.  Most often, we become aware that everyone possesses wants and needs, and the trick is discerning the difference.  See the David Brooks speech below.