Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “humility” as the “freedom from pride or arrogance; the quality or state of being humble.” The Bible declares in Proverbs 11:2, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Even the business world recognizes the value and wisdom of humility. For instance, The Economist in 2013 wrote, “If leadership has a secret sauce, it may well be humility. A humble boss understands that there are things he doesn’t know. He listens: not only to the other bigwigs in Davos, but also to the kind of people who don’t get invited, such as his customers.”
Humility, though so important, seems to be lacking in today’s culture, especially among us Millennials. Indeed, I like what Alyssa Ahlgren recently posted on social media. She wrote…
“My Generation Is Blind to the Prosperity Around Us! I’m sitting in a small coffee shop near Nokomis (Florida) trying to think of what to write about. I scroll through my newsfeed on my phone looking at the latest headlines of presidential candidates calling for policies to “fix” the so-called injustices of capitalism. I put my phone down and continue to look around.
I see people talking freely, working on their MacBook’s and ordering food they get in an instant, seeing cars go by outside, and it dawned on me; we live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous Nation and we’ve become completely blind to it.
Vehicles, food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose. These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we don’t give them a second thought.
We are so well off here in the United States that our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average. Thirty One Times!!!
Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards. Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon with one click and have it at our doorstep the next day, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful?
Our unappreciation is evident as the popularity of Socialist policies among my generation continues to grow. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said to Newsweek talking about the millennial generation, “An entire generation which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America came of age and never saw American prosperity.
“Never saw American prosperity?? Let that sink in.
When I first read that statement, I thought to myself, that was quite literally the most entitled and factually illiterate thing I’ve ever heard in my 26 years on this earth. Many young people agree with her, which is entirely misguided.
My generation is being indoctrinated by a mainstream narrative to actually believe we have never seen prosperity. I know this first hand, I went to college, let’s just say I didn’t have the popular opinion, but I disagree.
Why then, with all of the overwhelming evidence around us, evidence that I can even see sitting at a coffee shop, do we not view this as prosperity? We have people who are dying to get into our country!
People around the world destitute and truly impoverished. Yet, we have a young generation convinced they’ve never seen prosperity and, as a result, we elect some politicians who are dead set on taking steps towards abolishing Capitalism!!
Why? The answer is this, my generation has only seen prosperity. We have no contrast! We didn’t live in the great depression or live through two World Wars, the Korean War, The Vietnam War and we didn’t see the rise and fall of Socialism and Communism.
We don’t know what it’s like to live without the internet, without cars, without smartphones. We don’t have a prosperity problem. We have an entitlement problem, an ungratefulness problem, and it’s spreading like a plague.”
Indeed, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. But in addition to cultivating humility by means of pursuing thankfulness, all of us (including and especially Millennials) need to gravitate towards history. Let me explain…
Being young is a great thing. I’m only 33 so I’m still very young. Indeed, those of us who are young can be so passionate, energetic, and creative. But some of us in our youthful zeal have forgotten to temper our good traits with other good traits, such as patience, wisdom, and knowledge. In fact, zeal without knowledge is a dangerous, dangerous thing…
For instance, zeal without knowledge causes us to bite the hands that fed us. That’s why some of us are so self-righteously critical of our parents. We’re so dialed into their faults and failures and hypocrisies (as if we don’t have our own issues and blindspots that our children will be all too eager to showcase to us when they’re just as old and experienced as we are today), but we’re so dialed into the imperfections of our parents that we fail to realize that they were (and are) merely human, and (please hear me on this) they did the best they could. Instead of being so critical of our parents, we should be grateful.
Zeal without knowledge also causes us to disregard or forget our American history. That is to say, we become so immersed, as young people, in the present-day injustices and problems of our nation, that we disregard or forget the fact that many, many Americans (who were just as passionate, energetic, and creative as we are today) died for some of the very injustices and problems that we are protesting and marching for today. Indeed, some of us act like our forefathers throughout our great and complicated history never cared about these issues and dilemmas. Oh, how self-righteous and arrogant we can be as young people! Indeed, many in our nation’s history cared deeply (and cared to the death) on many of the issues we feel so passionately about today.
“Yeah, but they didn’t fix all the issues! There are still many, many problems! It’s all up to us now!” Really? Don’t you think that our fellow citizens of years gone by did the best they could for us and for our freedoms? Do you really think that we are all-together wiser, smarter, and better able to handle the mess of problems in our nation today? Oh, we will certainly do our very best to right the many wrongs in our country and, after all is said and done, history will record the same verdict that so few of us give to our ancient forefathers…”They did the best they could.”
Speaking of historical figures who fought for justice and liberty, did you know that over 360,000 Union Soldiers gave up their very lives in order to free the oppressed and grant freedom for all? 360,000 deaths…Let that number sink in, and humble you, and engender within you one major thing…gratefulness. Yes, thousands and thousands and thousands of men (many of them white males), during the American Civil War, were willing to put a bullet into the head of another human being just so that we all could live free today. They certainly didn’t do it all correctly. We certainly have much work to do in our own moment in history. But in all our passion, fellow Millennials, let’s not forget our history. Let’s be grateful for the very broad, but imperfect shoulders of the men that we stand on today…