Happy Be Humble Day! Also known as “The Internet’s Worst Nightmare.”
The way most internet interactions are constructed are mainly designed to support, stroke, and supplement the ego. On a bad day of anxiety or depression, it can be comforting to find an online cadre of like-minded friends who are willing to share your passion, bolster your confidence, and make sure you have a little bit of pride.
The problem arises when that pride becomes your daily fuel. I’ve seen it happen. You have too. A friend on Facebook gets a little too passionate about a political issue or editorial stance, and you begin to suspect that the argument is less and less about them making sure their point is communicated, and more and more about they, themselves, ensuring you that they are right, right, right. There is a whole section of humanity that, bolstered by the internet, thrives on argument. Not on changing people’s minds, or engaging in healthy debate on a serious topic, but bickering. Argument for the sake of the arguer is not argument. It’s ego in action.
That’s why we have days like Be Humble Day. Humility is a difficult thing to find on the internet, as it is a medium designed for showing off. Look at me. Look at my art. Look at my lunch. Look at my sex life. Look at my outrage. Look at my recent trip to Disneyland. Now marvel, peons, marvel at the wonderfulness that is me. I have no problems with sharing and celebrating. But it has, as indicated above, gone too far in places. Be Humble Day is a day when we get to look at how much we think of ourselves – which is a lot – step back, and perhaps douse our ego fires for a few seconds.
Also, just because their name is pertinent to the subject, here’s a picture of the 1970s blues-rock band Humble Pie.
Humility is antithetical to many people. Why think of anything other than number one? Humility, however, is a vital and significant tool for an enlightened mind. It allows one to see past one’s own petty concerns to a larger world. It allows for empathy. It allows for sympathy. It allows for practicality. And it allows for peace. For one day, drop your stressful ambitions, think of your limitations, and realize that you don’t have to be the fucking center of the universe. Once you adopt a humble mindset, and that the world will indeed function without your micromanaging, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
C.S. Lewis, pictured above, has one of the most hammered-on quotations when it comes to humility. He said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” Another good one: Poet Criss Jami once said: “The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it.” This may all be traced back to Socrates, whose central philosophical principle – as written by Plato in The Apology, was about wisdom: That he who is wise does not know that he is wise. If you think you know it all, then we have news for you…
So be humble today. Say something modest. See if you can go a day without showing off. You may have to stay off the internet, though. The next day, when the ego fires burn again, you can brag about it.
Top Image: John Chillingworth/Getty Images
Witney Seibold is a contributor to the CraveOnline Film Channel, and the co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. He also contributes to Legion of Leia and to Blumhouse. You can follow him on “The Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.