Humility, educating in values

There are many definitions of humility, most belonging to areas of knowledge such as ethics, theology or anthropology. Several authors describe the humble people as individuals with a Realistic knowledge of themselves, both its defects and its qualities.

They do not ostentatiously exhibit their achievements (they are modest people), but neither do they absurdly deny objective success (invariably defining themselves as useless or denying any congratulations for something well done does not mean being humble, perhaps the opposite).

A humble person relativizes his role in society, is not considered neither so important nor so insignificant. Maintains an open and non-defensive attitude towards advice and corrections. He takes care of himself and spends more time with others. It stands out for its ability to appreciate the value of people and of things, respecting their differences. Those who are close to someone humble feel comfortable, because they often receive more positive emotions.


Humility since childhood

Logically, the ideal environment where instilling humility, educating in values, is the family, and the most propitious moment lies in childhood. Like any other virtue, is transmitted through the example of the elderly. Witnessing an act of humility invites others to imitate it (for example, if in the course of a discussion one claims to have been wrong, the other usually also recognizes his mistakes).

Through small daily acts, children will gradually incorporate this virtue into their repertoire of behaviors and their value system.

Two basic elements to inculcate humility are the forgiveness and gratitude. A child who is grateful and knows how to forgive and ask for forgiveness will obtain the foundations on which to sustain the value of humility.


How can humility be educated?

There are many ways to achieve this and, on a daily basis, there are several occasions. Thus, for example, a father who, after judging or reprimanding his son, recognizes his mistake and asks for forgiveness, is a positive model of humility (not a threat to his authority, as some fear). The non-defensive attitude of a parent at the time of receiving a rebuke from the other spouse, accepting the help or correction of a child or modestly assume a personal achievement, are also occasions to exercise it.

Children can be taught to value and respect their own and others' things (taking care of or lending toys), encourage them to complete homework to make life enjoyable for others (set a table, clean, be ordered) or not strut when a success in school is achieved. All of them are good occasions to show you the way to humility. It is also important to help children - and especially adolescents - to put themselves in the place of others. If they ever get angry because someone else made a mistake with them, humility would help them forgive, because they would know that they could make mistakes themselves. Once again, in the family is the key.


Alfonso Sánchez-Carpintero

It may interest you:

- Educate in values, generosity

- The value of effort in early childhood education

- Ideas to teach children how to collaborate

Video: Mindfulness, Humility & Holistic Approach to Education: Gadadhara Pandit Dasa at TEDxTeachersCollege


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