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Humility VS Humility: 5 Basic Differences

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When you’re on a quest for personal growth, you want to be sure to consider the ideals of humility vs. humility. Both these qualities are similar and include selflessness and modesty, which it is admirable in any human being.

I’m sure you’ll agree that if you think about character development, humility and meekness both have very distinct qualities. These qualities are necessary for your personal and professional development.

In this article, we will define both qualities, provide the five basic differences, and give you examples of humility and meekness to help you better decide how to embrace these qualities in your own life journey.

Before we delve into comparing humility with humility, let’s give a good clear picture by defining each one separately. But first, did you know that both humility and humbleness have their Latin origins in the word “humilis,” which means “low.”

As you can imagine, this means that these attributes are closely intertwined.

What is humility?

According to Dictionary.com, humility is the state or quality of lacking pride or arrogance or being modest. It also refers to the quality of feeling that you are not more important than anyone else and that you are politely respectful.

To help further define humility, we have compiled several examples of people who have demonstrated humility.

Mother Teresa

A beloved humanitarian the world over, Mother Teresa was a symbol of humility.

Although she was a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, she did not bask in the accolades bestowed upon her but rather continued to devote her life to what she felt was her calling: serving the poor people of India. Her humility showed in everything she did and was evident to those who knew her and knew her.

Mother Teresa had compassion for the poor, who lived in the same humble conditions as the people she served. No task was too insignificant for her to perform for other people. She was often seen comforting those at death’s door, washing the feet of the sick and caring for abandoned children.

Mother Teresa believed in the inherent worth and dignity of every human being, and she demonstrated this daily, inspiring others to follow her example of humility in serving the less fortunate.

Mahatma Gandhi

As the leader of a nonviolent movement in India against British colonial rule, Mahatma Gandhi exemplified humility. His modesty was evident despite being hailed as the father of the nation.

He showed humility by living a very simple lifestyle. He was a true minimalist who renounced material possessions. Even his clothes showed his lack of personal pride, as he only wore traditional Indian attire.

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He treated others with respect and courtesy, regardless of their social status. Gandhi’s commitment to serving others, along with nonviolence, inspired people all over the world. A quote attributed to Gandhi sums up his humble attitude to serving others: “Service performed without joy helps neither the servant nor the served.”

Gandhi’s interactions with people from all walks of life are proof of his humble lifestyle.

Nelson Mandela

As South Africa’s first black president and born into a royal family, Nelson Mandela displayed remarkable humility throughout his life.

As an anti-apartheid activist, he fought against injustice. Even after 27 years in prison, he sought redemption rather than revenge after his release. Mandela believed in the importance of forgiveness and demonstrated and encouraged it in his deeply divided nation.

He found no shame in listening and learning from others. Mandela sought out different opinions and perspectives and found value in collective decision-making. He was a true leader in that he led by humble example and often acknowledged the contributions of others.

Although he passed away in 1999, many people around the world are still inspired by the humble lifestyle he led.

What is humility?

According to Dictionary.com, humility is meekness, meekness, and submission. It is the opposite of pride. A person who shows humility is known to have a modest opinion of himself.

To help further define humility, we have compiled several examples of people who have demonstrated humility.

JK Rowling

Well-known “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling shows humility even with her monumental success. Despite her incredible wealth, Rowling remains grounded in humility about her success.

She is quick to express gratitude to the readers who support her journey to fame. Rowling is not shy about sharing her struggles and the setbacks she encountered along the way.

She shows humility when she reminds others that failure is a step on the road to success. Rowling also has a positive impact around the world when she advocates for charitable causes that are near and dear to her heart. Rowling’s authentic humility, along with her confidence, inspires both aspiring writers and readers of her work.

Pastor Billy Graham

During his life and ministry it has Reverend Billy Graham showed remarkable humility. Most would agree that Graham is one of the most influential Christian evangelists of his time. Throughout his life, he displayed great modesty and displayed a deep sense of humility even as he became more successful and well-known.

Graham was adamant in attributing his personal success to the grace of God rather than to himself. The southern preacher focused solely on spreading God’s message. In his own humility, he brought people closer to his faith while treating them with kindness and respect.

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Albert Einstein

Recognized as one of the greatest scientific minds in history, AAlbert Einstein was known for his humility as well as his brilliance. His contributions to physics, including the theory of relativity, were unprecedented.

But Einstein remained remarkably modest despite his achievements. He gave credit to the work of others who came before him and laid the foundation for his success.

His humility was further evidenced by his commitment to education. He appreciated students and researchers at all levels who engaged with him. His humility was shown in the way he fostered a spirit of learning in others.

Humility vs Humility: 5 Basic Differences

Now that we’ve defined humility and meekness and given real-life examples, let’s delve deeper into these qualities as we highlight five fundamental differences.

Moreover, you will find that there are some similarities as well.

Difference #1. The Beginning of Humility vs Humility

With humility and humility so closely related, we must reach back to their origins to discover their differences.

Humility stems from a sense of low self-esteem and a personal sense of modesty. There is an avoidance of arrogance. When you meet someone who exhibits humility, you will most likely notice that they downplay their abilities and accomplishments.

On the other hand, humility comes from a place where a person understands their strengths and weaknessesplus they appreciate contributions from other people, whether on a personal or professional level.

Difference #2. Impact on relationships

Whether you are involved in a personal or professional relationship, the qualities you exhibit can affect that relationship either positively or negatively.

Humility can create a barrier in relationships if the person is constantly self-deprecating. Fostering a healthy relationship requires balance, and while some humility is good, too much of it can be offensive.

On the other hand, humility can bring a relationship closer because the person encourages others to participate in the communication with respect.

Difference #3. Strength in vulnerability

Because humility can stem from insecurity, it can limit the reality and perception of a person’s strength in vulnerability. A person’s growth can be stunted by their reluctance to take risks due to anxiety or lack of confidence.

Alternatively, humility uses being vulnerable as a source of strength. Both attributes acknowledge limitations, but humility helps the person cultivate resilience and a growth mindset despite their vulnerability.

Difference #4. Focus on Humility vs Humility

How a person sees themselves relates to humility when they self-reflect. Humility often leads to avoiding drawing attention to oneself, which may or may not lead to an unhealthy self-image.

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In contrast, humility goes beyond personal introspection to external interactions with others. It adds to how the person treats people on a personal or professional level, focusing on respect and kindness. One advantage of having humility is that it promotes active listening and provides support when needed.

Difference #5. Authentic recognition

Mere humility can prevent a person from recognizing his achievements and accepting praise from others. They may feel uncomfortable when someone praises their success and find it embarrassing, especially if they are introverted.

Humility encourages authenticity in self-expression while appreciating the efforts of others. A person with humility can gracefully accept compliments and give compliments easily to others for their success and achievements.

Humility vs Humility: Which is Better?

As you can see there is benefits of promoting both humility and meekness. When we ask ourselves what is best, we think humility wins… sort of. The ties between both humility and meekness are deep, and the attributes overlap, meaning they are not mutually exclusive.

Yet humility adds the external quality of respect and concern for others that helps foster healthy relationships. Some may say that humility is needed to maintain a down-to-earth perspective, while others may counter that humility is essential to making genuine connections.

When it comes to deciding which is best, both humility and meekness can coexist. Not only that, they can also complement each other.

When you have both, we think you’ll find them create a more balanced and grounded approach to live your life.

Final Thoughts on Humility vs Humility

When considering personal and professional growth, cultivating both humility and humbleness can lead to a more positive impact on the world around you.

By embracing both qualities, you can appreciate your own strengths and limitations while valuing and respecting others, creating a harmonious and compassionate approach to life.

Remember that cultivating humility and meekness is an ongoing process. The requires you to self-reflect and then engage and connect with others on a deeper level. Together we can create a world where humility and meekness flourish, paving the way for greater understanding, compassion and harmony.

A good place to start is by checking out our article on the 11 ways to practice humility throughout your life. There is no better time to start than today and, as Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

And if you’re looking for more resources on good personality traits, be sure to check out these blog posts:

Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.

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