Friday, April 21, 2017

Humility: Objective Distance Easily Attained

I am working through an excellent book on humility: Humilitas by one John Dickson. As you would expect, his first discussion deals with how one can even talk about humility. If you're really humble you won't pretend to know anything about humility and so you certainly won't write a book about it! Or so it seems at a glance.

John is known for being, in his words, "dominance-leaning, achievement-focused, driven". So when he told his long-time friend he was writing a book on "the origins of humility in western ethical thought" his friend quipped:

"Well, at least you have the objective distance from the subject."

Zing! And so might be said of us all. Of course, John makes the reasonable case for trying to learn about this classic virtue. And right off he reminds us that one of the more remarkable sociological studies of recent years, the book Good to Great, identifies humility as one of two key ingredients in the extraordinary success he documented.

I'll hope to finish the book soon, and may share a bit as I go along.