Since the release of Kendrick Lamar’s HUMBLE and dedicating the time reading and analyzing his rap, the song has stuck with me in context of the meaning behind his lyrics and the visuals of his music video besides the catchy beat. Every word and gestures acted in the video, especially Leonardo Da Vinci’s legendary The Last Supper reenactment, signifying how nowadays people see themselves as Gods. Lamar’s famous punchline, “Be humble, sit down” should be considered as a remark for the pompous individuals to go down off their high horse, even when working social media and marketing in Malaysia.
Being humble doesn’t mean you are the lowest of the low, rather it is ‘the highest virtue of life, the mother of them all’ as quoted by poet Tennyson. Humility – also known as the ‘quiet ego’ – is a righteous trait defined as a genuine gratitude and lack of arrogance as well as having a modest view on oneself. What seems to be the society’s perspective on looking up to being competitive, attention-seeking, narcissistic and entitled is wrong, instead these negative traits are the weakest compared to the power of being humble. One of the aspects of life that people should be humble about are their knowledge, what they know how the world works, why they acquire them and how they are using them.
It is a shame that the world – this generation – is shifting away from practicing humility.
Having a humble behavior is never self-degrading, especially when knowledge comes into the picture. Here are the perks of being humble with knowledge:
1) Embrace Humility
Society hailed entitlement, ego and over-confidence – but that works differently when you’re in a small circle of friends/classmates/coworkers/ acquaintances. Your behavior speaks louder than your words, and having a “talk big, no act” trait will be your disadvantage when it comes to your leadership.
Humble leaders are not only favored, but more effective in the workplace. Bradley Owens, author of a study published in the Academy of Management Journal clarified that there are three behaviors that could contribute to the strength and growth of an organization, i.e. admitting mistakes, spotlighting follower strengths and modeling teachability.
A humble behavior gives better work performance and better cooperation among colleagues.
2) Nothing Nice To Say, Say Nothing At All
You may know a lot more about how the world works compared to anyone else, but that does not mean it is necessary to downgrade them for not being on the same level as you. Feeling entitled to the knowledge you have and thinking that people owe you for things will complicate your relationship with them, thus resulting in a prejudiced view of the world.
Having a low sense of entitlement encourages us to be tolerant to others. Knowledge exists for us to learn endlessly, not to talk down others who know less than us.
3) Sharing Is Caring, But Showing Off Is Not It
There are two types of intentions when it comes to sharing knowledge – to help or to boast.
Usually, when someone boasts a lot, that means they are not confident with themselves and feel like they want to seek approval. However, if you really think about yourself and you are content with how you are, you would feel less likely to boast in order to impress people and seek fulfillment.
Knowledge is meant to empower people and the surroundings, not to boast about and asserting your dominance which brings no progress to anything but your self-satisfaction, which proves how high your ego is.
4) Being egocentric will not bring you anywhere
As the saying goes, “the world does not revolve around you,” and I could not emphasize enough how important this quote is to everyone. To focus solely on your opinions and brush away others will lead to no progress of any tasks, rather the final product will be bland due to no variety of ideas. There is no worth of having a false sense of pride to conceal your personal anxieties; it is better to cooperate with others than feeding your selfishness.
Take consideration with other’s views and be less defensive about your own beliefs. Knowledge is the key that can bring us up together, not to leave out others and call them “fools who know nothing.”
To apprehend our vulnerability from being displayed should not be encouraged. As a human being, all is well to be human with flaws because not even one on Earth is perfect to begin with. Hence, be humble with everything you have, let it be knowledge, wealth, healthiness and so on. Everyone is equal, and that fact does not hurt a bit.