Humility: Not Meek, Weak, or Mild

By DNI MarCom

“Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues” – Confucius
“Life is a long lesson in humility” – James M. Barrie

The second letter of our “SHINES” company culture acronym is H, which represents humility. Humility can be described as “a modest or low view of one’s own importance.” This is not to be confused with “meek,” “weak,” or “mild.”

Humility differs from meekness and other similar qualities in that meekness is a quality that aperson displays towards others, but humility is something that a person internalizes within themselves.

As it relates to DNI, our leaders strive to maintain their humility by recognizing where they fall short and accepting responsibility for their actions. They understand the need for constant learning, and they change to adapt to current industry conditions. Feedback from the team, therefore, is vital to each leader.

Looking to nature for an example, the Cedars of Lebanon could be described as “a humble species.” The Cedars of Lebanon start out small and scraggly but are resilient against diseases and parasites. Waiting to flower into one of the strongest, largest, and most beautiful cedars at around 30 years old, the Cedar’s produce a scent which keeps snakes and other pests away from its shade.

We can learn a lesson from this simple tree! What we can learn from the Cedars is that if you practice humility, you can help others and revel in the blossoming of their flowers while you wait for your own flowers to bloom. Like Lenni the turtle, slow, steady, and strong wins the race!

Need some ideas to get you started?
1. Be an optimist – don’t dwell on what you can’t change
2. Recognize and be honest about your flaws
3. Avoid bragging
4. Be grateful for what you have—and what you don’t
5. Admit when you’re wrong
6. Go last
7. Ask for advice and help when necessary
8. Volunteer
9. Avoid comparing yourself to others
10. Be teachable
11. Know when your input doesn’t help
12. Spend more time in nature: remember the size of the universe around you

In conclusion, be humble! Practicing humility doesn’t make you feel more important than the people around you. Being humble makes you want to do your part, support the team, help when someone needs advice, coaching, or just someone to listen.

Humbleness encourages others and sees the positive.