Humility Doesn’t Wear a Neon SignHuman

Casinos and bars have neon bright, flashing neons signs to draw attention to their establishment and drum up business. Paradoxically, the human quality of humility should do the exact opposite.
Stephen Kavalkovich

SFYB Certified Coach

Some qualities such as egotism and arrogance do a great job at drawing attention, however negative they may be. Just look at those of certain celebrities and politicians that soak up the spotlight with their antics and frivolous displays of entitlement and wasteful spending of their wealth. Our cable channels are loaded with “reality” shows that star some folks who are actually famous for being famous. Many of these have glitz and glamour and not an ounce of character or substance.

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The fact that some of this programming is called “reality TV” baffles since these scripted antics are anything but. I even recently saw a certain celebrity state in an interview that she is very humble, the exact dichotomy of the definition of the word. Stating you are humbles is a sure way to translate the fact that the meaning has gone well over your over inflated head.

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When you have to brag about how good you have it or how great of a person you are, chances are the reverse is the case.

Now, let’s not get humility and humiliated confused. One is where the embarrassing words or behaviors displayed make one appear foolish. The other is the act of recognizing that no one is better than another and nothing is beneath a person. I have known many men and women who seemingly had everything, money and status, yet battled with the same demons that plague us all. The difference is some rise to great perceived heights, whether in wealth or fame, and somehow confuse these things as making them super human.

These people believe that the things that plague those “beneath” do not them due to their worldly position. Wake up call time, none of us are getting out of this alive and you cannot take it with you when your number rolls up. Steve Jobs had billions of pieces of green paper, yet died of the same cancer that kills the homeless person on Skid Row. I have had money, marriage, a house, two cars, and the picket fence, yet was miserable and thought more stuff would calm my internal storm. It was only through losing everything that I learned humility, but tread carefully at calling myself humble for the same reasons aforementioned.

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I can recall many nights working a job where I would stop at the local convenience store for a coffee and think, “Man, at least I am not this cashier, making a third of the money I make and in a dead end job.” It scared me to think that I thought that on many nights. Until I got to wear the apron, name tag, and hairnet for minimum wage that I got it. Any one of us can fall of our self constructed pedestals at any time for any reason, external or internal. I have realized that the same cashier I felt pity for always smiled and had a sense of peace and contentment, while I was the banged up jalopy careening into every brick wall I came across in my travels.


Whether we are black, white, fat, skinny, rich or poor, the human condition affects us all. It is only until I walked a mile in another person tat I once looked upon that I learned that humility comes from recognition of this similarity and not the differences that I trained my focus on. Announcing to the world you good works or donating to charity only makes someone arrogant, not humble. Humility is a silent pillar of strength, layered with the self identification of who one really is, not how seemingly better they are.


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