If humility has an “antithesis” or opposite, it’s pride. Certainly pride is having an exaggerated view of oneself, of believing that somehow you are better than others, or that somehow you “deserve” everything you’ve obtained in the world.
But there’s actually another, even more subtle way to think about pride.
Pride is anything that separates you from other human beings.
When you think about pride in this way, it opens up whole new (and often troubling) ideas to consider.
Because it means that pride can happen, not only when we are dwelling on the POSITIVE things that set us apart from others, but also our NEGATIVE behaviors and personality traits.
To say it another way, cultivating humility does not mean practicing shame.
When you are thinking that somehow you are the worst person in the world, you are dwelling on something that sets you apart—and makes you unique—from other people.
True humility is not thinking of yourself as necessarily worse than other people, it’s actually not thinking of yourself at all.
True, deep humility can be a whimsical, others-centered, way of being and living that is centered deeply in a secure peaceful awareness of a God who loves you.
It’s almost counter-intuitive, but true humility—self-forgetfulness—happens when we are so sure about who we are in God that we are free to completely focus on the moment and on others.