What has Happened to Humility

When the myths have all been dispelled, humans will only have reality; and that has always been a dilemma for humankind.  The fundamental truth of our reality can be found in the unknown: the mystery that is life.  This mystery is still beyond the realm of human thought and imagination and evident only in the world of the spirit and faith.  Spirit and faith are the very essence of humility, of caring and of humanness.

We are at a point in history where human arrogance is at its zenith.  There is even the belief that humankind is at the precipice of understanding life, the universe and its very creation.  There are many now who actually believe that it is humans who control the world and what happens to it.

It is indisputable that advances have been made in knowledge and technology that helps us better understand many of the things around us and ways to diminish some of the negative effects of life’s afflictions and constraints (i.e. diseases, information sharing, travel, etc.,).  Yet, this knowledge and its inherent technologies have limitations, as each new discovery comes with a new mystery, even if it appears years later.

New diseases and afflictions still appear and evolve while older ones now evade some of the medications that once kept them at bay.  Mother Nature, without warning still can disrupt, and even end people’s lives, as being witnessed with the rash of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The recent economic collapse has exposed the shallow foundation upon which our economy, institutions and society were and are built; a foundation of arrogance and greed.  There was apparent little awareness, knowledge, or perhaps care, of the implications of their actions by all those who manage and lead.

We are witnessing the decline of our democratic institutions because of the egotism and sense of entitlement of those that have taken control of the political processes.  We need only look at current events in Ottawa, and the myriad of recent and continuing political scandals unfolding throughout this country (not to mention the rest of the world).

Concurrently, our religious base is eroding rapidly, because of the attitude of many who make up its hierarchy.  Their failure is in their unwillingness to emulate those that laid the foundation for their religions.  This reality not only relates to Christian religions, but to others as well.

Yet, few in leadership positions admit responsibility, nor admit their folly, whether it’s the economic collapse, wars and democratic decline, or the scandals facing so many of our institutions.

There are two questions that must be asked.  What has happened to humility; especially among those who lead?  Where does spirituality fit, in a world filled with egotism and arrogance?

Humility is the basis of most of the credible religions of which I am aware.  Trust is the core of any democratic government or governance process.  Integrity is the very essence of any balanced economy or credible business.  “Spirit” is the fuel that drives them all.

Institutions today, tend to reflect the people that drive them, rather than the values that underpin their creation.  This reflects an almost universal education process that has laid waste to traditional values. A new social stratum has evolved, with a quest for more and need for control.

The advances in our knowledge appear to have been eclipsed by the expansion of our egos.  There are many now who manipulate knowledge for personal benefit, no matter the costs to others.

This was evident in the war in Iraq and in the recent global warming research fiasco.  It continues in the events around the economic collapse and in many of the scandals around religion.

Knowledge now is a weapon, rather than a tool for the betterment of the human psychic, spirit and condition.

The truth of our own reality is that we still live in a world of mystery, but have dismissed the mystical context of the spirit.

Most seek harmony and happiness, but have bought into a world of sameness and uniformity; allowing others to control their thoughts and feelings.

It appears that there is not much in which to believe and there are few who deserve our trust.

Appreciating the mystery of life is not only important, but imperative to living.  This is not to say that we shouldn’t seek its essence, explore its being or that we should easily give in to life’s challenges.

There has to be recognition that life is greater than we can ever comprehend and that there is a source of power greater than any individual or any collective.  This has to be a reality that we feel in our hearts and our spirits, even if we can’t imagine it in our minds, other than through myth.

But, real wisdom comes from the knowledge that life is for living and not for conquering.  If we were ever to conquer life, as some think they must do, then there would be no reason for living; much less life.

For change to happen in this world, before our institutions can be made functional again and before the economy can be more balanced, it will be necessary to rediscover humility.

Written by Bill Pardy,

April 17th, 2010

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