Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Few More Thoughts on Entitlement & Humility

I'd like to say (and think) that I understand humility, but I have only the faintest glimmer.

I know humility is what makes us listen to and try to understand views that are different than our own. In a world of selfish and self-righteous views that lead to conflict and war, humility makes us listen to each other and hear the needs of the earth. It gives us common ground. As an individual, humility comes from the belief that I stand neither above or below anybody else. Humility protects me from low self-esteem and others from the power of my over-inflated ego.

Yes, to answer Karen's comment on my original Entitlement post, my exploration of humility did originate in an OA meeting. A member was telling a story about her family and the way she grew up feeling entitled to have "treats" for many different situations and occasions. I started thinking about what's under that sense of entitlement, one that I also shared.

Might it be possible that I felt more deserving than others? What if I altered my thinking a bit. What if I tell myself that stuff happens to everyone. We all have disappointments, frustrations, death, illness, celebrations, abusive relationships. We do. All of us. So why am I so special that I deserve to have treats?

What if I put myself on the same level with everyone, not above and not below? Does that mean I don't deserve rewards and celebrations? Does that mean I haven't succeeded? Does it mean I'm just average? Does it mean I have no reason to try to improve, to better myself? This is indeed a concept that needs grappling. I don't know the answers.

But I resonate with Ralph W. Stockman, who said humility is intelligent self respect which keeps us from thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves. Intelligent self-respect makes good sense to me. With intelligent self-respect, I no longer binge when I feel entitled to a treat.


  1. Well the first part of the second paragraph, what you know about humility, makes a lot of sense to me as you put it. But I guess I never saw that as humility. But I think what I don't grasp is exactly what you raise in the second to last paragraph. But I am in awe of you for your thoughtfulness in this whole process of recovery and healing.

  2. "Intelligent self-respect" - I like that!!! Simple and powerful. Thanks!

  3. It certainly resonates with me...intelligent self respect.


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