Humility may be the king of virtues because it opens the door for so many others. To me, humility makes me teachable. He who is unteachable is likewise he who strengthens his own opinions without bringing others’ insights into the conversation. His lack of humility lays the path to his isolation: a frightful journey. Humility engenders a listening attitude, makes me slow to speak, and forces me to be diligent in my scholarship and delightful in others’ scholarship. To listen is to make the opportunity to learn; to speak slowly is to consider carefully, with great regard for what is thought about. To carefully craft an argument requires a realistic opinion of one’s self and one’s ability so that the argument is created humbly in accord to one’s real capacities. Humility enables me to consider others who differ from me, even when they differ strongly. It makes me review and attend to others’ view with an eye to accurately understanding. It keeps me from misrepresenting other positions and scholars, as though I sit on high. Humility holds the key to inquiry (questioning). Without humility, inquiry flounders, those refusing humility happily maintaining inconsistent and un-vetted views. Our openness to others directly depends on humility; if we fail to love humility, there is little hope for a deep and steady love for others.
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