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Humility

  • ... humility is no substitute for a good personality ...

  • Humility is not my forte, and whenever I dwell for any length of time on my own shortcomings, they gradually begin to seem mild, harmless, rather engaging little things, not at all like the staring defects in other people's characters.

  • I believe humility is a virtue, but I prefer not to use it unless it is absolutely necessary.

  • ... all great people are humble because great people have great work and are humbled by the largeness of their dreams.

    • May Sarton,
    • 1940, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days ()
  • To appear to be on the inside and know more than others about what is going on is a great temptation for most people. It is a rare person who is willing to seem to know less than he does ... Somehow, people seem to feel that it is belittling to their importance not to know more than other people.

  • ... remember that though humility, without firmness, may be cowardly, yet courage without humility is presumptuous.

  • It is very difficult for the prosperous to be humble ...

  • In the intellectual order, the virtue of humility is nothing more nor less than the power of attention.

  • Compassion directed to oneself is humility.

  • Humility is attentive patience.

  • At heart a truly modest man, he had nevertheless the modest man's pride in his modesty in the face of achievement.

  • Humility is truth ...

    • Mother Teresa,
    • 1963, in Georges Gorrée and Jean Barbier, The Love of Christ ()
  • ... sooner or later the universe usually provides lessons of humility to those who need it the most.

  • The moment humility becomes self-conscious, it becomes hubris. One cannot be humble and aware of oneself at the same time.

  • I love humility in a woman. It's so rare. With man, of course, it is practically extinct.

  • Humility, however deep it be, neither disquiets nor troubles nor disturbs the soul; it is accompanied by peace, joy and tranquillity.

    • Teresa of Avila,
    • c. 1550, in E. Allison Peers, tr., The Complete Works of St. Teresa of Jesus ()
  • Humility must always be doing its work like a bee making its honey in the hive: without humility all will be lost.

  • Humility has its origin in an awareness of unworthiness, and sometimes too in a dazzled awareness of saintliness.

  • Don't be so humble — you're not that great.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Israel and Mary Shenker, eds., As Good as Golda ()
  • ... though humility and acknowledgement of one's real failings is good, the gratuitous eating of worms not put before us by God does not nourish our souls a bit — merely in fact upsets the spiritual tummy.

    • Evelyn Underhill,
    • 1935, in Charles Williams, ed., The Letters of Evelyn Underhill ()
  • The woman had a humble, cringing manner. Of course, she had discovered that, having neither money nor virtue, she had better be humble if she knew what was good for her.

  • I've never had a humble opinion in my life. If you're going to have one, why bother to be humble about it?

    • Joan Baez,
    • in International Herald Tribune ()
  • Fly humbly, / when you fly; / walk, / when you can.

  • You grow up the day you have your first real laugh — at yourself.

    • Ethel Barrymore,
    • in Adela Rogers St. Johns, "Ethel Barrymore, Queen Once More," Reader's Digest ()
  • ... humility is like underwear — essential, but indecent if it shows.

  • Humility is what we want other people to have.

  • It gives me no joy to be praised at the expense of a better artist, by someone who does not know the difference or who thinks me too vain to be aware of it myself.

  • It is easy to be humble when a greater is preferred; but when an inferior is lifted high above our heads, how can we bear it?

  • Nothing is difficult for the humble.

  • Do good, and disappear.

  • Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.‬