To be Humble and Tolerant

To be Humble and Tolerant
Image provided by Myra Khawar

After my last post, in which I discussed arrogance along with some other attributes that usually aren’t too pleasant, I thought a discourse about humility and tolerance was in order.

I’ll stand up for myself when I feel I’m being wrongly accused–in most instances that is. Every time I’ve waited for someone to stand up for me, I’ve been sorely disappointed. But is my action the right one to pursue? Are all those situations so dire I must make sure I’m not misunderstood or blamed? Why can’t I accept lowliness?

I was taught, from the time I was a little girl, to be self-reliant, truthful, and persistent. There isn’t a time I remember when I was advised to be  unassuming or allow anyone to take advantage of me.

I’m extremely modest about many personal aspects, but I do lack meekness. I like being courteous and respectful. Acknowledging a person’s better qualities and being kind makes me feel incredible. And, let’s face it, reverence and manners are necessary in order to get along with people.

Nonetheless, the jury is still out on whether humbleness or tolerance are all that worthwhile to have at traits or not with me. Should I wait for someone else to blow my horn for me? Should I readily and blindly assume someone I barely know has the one and only right answer? Should courtesy and respect be doled out like candy on Halloween? I just can’t imagine myself being subservient to anyone or brown-nosing anyone.

Notwithstanding, I should try harder to be tolerant of people’s differences and shortcomings. After all, I’m far from perfect and I do have more than my share of quirks. I can learn so much from people who are different from me, things I could never learn from someone who mirrors me.

During the 1960s and the first years of the 1970s, there was a movement worldwide trying to teach humility and tolerance. Of course, it never would have sold being called such, so it was addressed as love. Both young and old bought into it for a few years. I remember taking friends over to my grandmother’s to listen to her stories about when she was young. My friends were learning something new from someone who was old. Who would think the young would do such a thing? Who would think an elderly person would be so patient? Unfortunately, the movement didn’t create a creed that would last through the years beyond that unique time. People went back to being arrogant, self-absorbed, and deceitful by the corporate years of the 1980s.

Are humans naturally narcissistic and deceptive? This is a possibility, maybe even a probability. Does humility or tolerance have any chance at all of surviving?


Please voice your opinions. Don’t be shy.

“Listen more than you talk. Nobody learned anything by hearing themselves speak.” – Sir Richard Branson


10 thoughts on “To be Humble and Tolerant

  1. Glynis, you always have a unique and complex perspective on the topics you choose to address. I learn a lot from your posts. I get defensive when I feel I’m being blamed or accused. Like you, I’ve always tried to do and say the right and respectful things, often to learn years later that I’ve been thought of as arrogant and unfeeling toward others. I’m finally beginning to learn that my point of view, no matter how noble I may think it to be, is only one of many aspects of any situation. Not sure I can apply that wisdom, if that’s what it is, to anyone else, but I’m trying to be quieter, listen better, and make fewer assumptions about others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All in all, I think I’m quieter these days than I’ve been before. It could be it’s a wisdom we learn with age, making us realize our point of view is not always the most important, that maybe even the subject matter we apply our opinions to isn’t as grave as we’ve believed in the past. With the same token though, when I feel I must speak out, I do so with more conviction than I had before. Despite my inclination to be an introvert, I don’t think I could ever describe myself as being humble. Tolerance, on the other hand, is something I want to possess. Whether I acquire it to any great lengths is doubtful though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m all for tolerance and understanding, but not the next step–allowing people to act any way they want because we’re tolerant and understanding. That doesn’t work as well on a large scale as it does individually.


    1. You’re a teacher so being humble and tolerate while working may not be the right thing to do. You have a class full of students who are going to test you as much as you test them. Of course, not all students are like that but enough where bold strength is often the trait to have in front.


  3. You pose an interesting question (maybe a couple) but I think I’d have to think about it a while. I know for myself, my willingness to be humble changes with my surroundings. In business, a humble posture is often taken advantage of, as is a tolerant one. Still, being intolerant is often seen as being narrow-minded or close-minded. I’m not sure where I am on the spectrum but I’m pretty sure I move based on who’s in the room.

    In my personal life, I find it easier to be tolerant and humble. I’ve been humbled by others, when I only realized how much they knew or how nice they were trying to be, after I had concluded something else. I wrote about being humbled by my paternal grandmother once, and it’s a lesson I have never forgotten.


    1. Many jobs require attitudes of inner strength. Without it, nothing would get done, as you well know. I imagine you are usually walking a tightrope making quick decisions concerning not only material and product but fellow employees and clients too. All require some tolerance, but at the same time, fortitude.

      I was raised mostly by my mother because my father was a fireman. Many nights were spent with him sleeping at the fire station. My mother, being a strong woman, made my brother and I tow the line. Chances are that if my father had been home more evenings, he would have been a soft touch, something just the opposite of what he was at work. Does this describe you to some extent?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I might have been a soft touch at home. I was often considered a soft touch at work, too because I’m not always hard-nosed. If the situation allows some latitude, I’ve always been willing to bend. I think some people see that as weakness.


  4. Glynis, I was in the middle of my comment and my laptop rebooted!! Let me try again:)
    I like to think of myself as a courteous and respectful person. Am I humble? I like to think so.
    Do I stand up for myself? Not all the time. Sometimes I just let things slide and move on with life.


    1. My PC, when in the internet browser, has been doing the same thing lately. Makes me wonder if someone like the FBI is slipping in a tracking device or something. It wouldn’t make any difference, mind you, I have nothing to hide but my personal appearance (a lack of self-esteem glitch in me)

      I didn’t used to stand up for myself too often, but in the last five or six years I’ve become a real stickler for that. I doubt seriously that anyone else will have me back so I’ve taken on the assignment myself. I’m sure I appear impertinent at times because of the stand I take. Yet, I just can’t take being stampeded on anymore. So I don’t allow it anymore. (This gets into a whole other subject that I have problems expelling to others.)

      Liked by 1 person

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