2018-11-07 / Editorials

Martha Chalker

Humble Our Hearts

Those are the words I heard my father use in almost every blessing before a meal. Humility is being able to recognize your value and the value of others while knowing there is something far greater than just ourselves. It can include who we can become, who others can become and how much more we can do and be. To be humble and to serve others and want for their good as well as your own is a way to practice humility. Humility paves the way for kindness and is needed for our inner well-being. Becoming frustrated or angry at losses or failures come with any struggle in life, so it’s important to understand humility to become a better person.

People who are humble are more likely to give to others that are in need. They can empathize (not just sympathize) better with the plight of those less fortunate. Humble leaders know they don’t have all the knowledge or answers and they actively listen to learn. They also know their own limitations and that self-awareness helps them get better. By mindfully practicing being humble you also expand your capacity of living with humility. A valedictorian who credits her success to her parents and her teachers shows humility. Letting someone go ahead of you in line when you see they are in a hurry is an act of humility. The basketball player who could score many points in any given game but chooses to pass the ball to teammates to give them the opportunity to score as well is an act of humility. These are simple every day examples.

Acts of humility have been demonstrated on a vast scale following the shooting massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday. There was immediate response from people of Pittsburgh and beyond. People wanting to help the victims and their families jumped into action on so many levels. The gunman opened fire inside the synagogue killing eleven and injuring six, then told the police he “wanted all Jews to die.” Within hours of the anti-Semitic attack people from all over the community were coming together to provide whatever help they could. Blood banks in Pittsburgh kept their doors open late. Thousands of people attended vigils sometimes standing shoulder to shoulder in the cold rain with people of many different faiths. Stores donated food. The Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team organized a blood drive Monday. Humility was shown as empathy for the victims when a number of campaigns were created to help raise money for those victims.

One person who jumped at the chance to help was Shay Khatiri. He immigrated to the United States four years ago, is an Iranian-American who lives in Washington and created a GoFundMe campaign for the synagogue on Saturday. By Monday afternoon the campaign had raised more than $680,000. Mr. Khatiri wrote on GoFundMe “There are Steins and Bergs, and there are Mohammeds. There are generic American names and there are Asian ones. It is only fitting that Americans of all backgrounds – immigrants, native-born, Jewish, atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, etc. – are uniting against this hateful act. America is beautiful”!

Within two hours of hearing of the attack, Tarek El-Messidi had created on online campaign with the backing of two Muslim groups. He was able to accomplish this so quickly (bringing in donations almost immediately) because he had done this before. He had created another fundraiser campaign last year that collected $130.000 to repair hundreds of Jewish headstones vandalized in St. Louis and Philadelphia. Mr. El-Missidi said, “Putting our religious differences or even your political differences aside, the core of all us is that we have a shared humanity. We really wanted to reach out as human beings to help”.

Mother Theresa once said, “Humility is the mother of all virtues, purity, charity and obedience. It is in being humble that our love becomes real, devoted and ardent”.

In my father’s words “humble our hearts” and let us practice living with humility. Amen!

Martha Chalker is a personal and business coach with over 20 years of experience. She also practices cognitive therapy providing the PACE and MTC programs with Learning Enhancement Centers. She can be reached at 706-564-4458.

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