Sunday, July 5, 2009

Humility and conflict

For most of my life I have struggled with the meaning being humble. Then I learned that the opposite of humility is a sense of entitlement. That discovery clarified my understanding of humility.

Recently I learned from a colleague who works in the field of restorative justice that a source of conflict is a sense of entitlement. Upon hearing that, my mind clicked. Of course, when I have a sense of entitlement, the result often is conflict - conflict between my expectations and yours.

So the lesson for me is to work at taking a position of humility. As an American, who grew up as a privileged White male, this is a difficult position to take. However, the peace this stance creates within myself and with others is well worth the difficulty.