To oversimplify, one can speak of two types of pride. Healthy pride and unhealthy pride.
An example of healthy pride is to feel good about one’s work and accomplishments. An example of unhealthy pride may seem similar at first: to feel good about one’s work, accomplishments and self, but to do so to the point that one looks down upon others.
The antidote to the second sort of pride is humility.
Humility comes from the word humus, of the earth. When one realizes that we are ‘of the earth,’ made of the same chemicals found in the natural world around us, this can bring us back to reality.
One may realize that none of us is an island. None of us is a truly “self made” man or woman, we all have had – and still have – need of others. From parents and family, to friends and colleagues, we need others to become our best.
Rich soil – dirt – humus – this is where nature properly cultivated can flower.
Humility is not to think of oneself as dirt. True humility is nothing more or less than a recognition of the objective truth.
So there is a healthy balance needed between self respect and respect for others.
In younger days (not that I’m old, mind you! ; -) it is easy to recall how one once thought that one ‘knew it all.’
Then slowly, over time, the reality of the importance of others comes into play.
In strolling through the glory of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s this evening with my wife and son, it was easy to get carried away in the beauty of the place. To see the wonder of nature. To realize that nature’s wonder has been cultivated by people in a fashion that makes the natural, super natural!
Team work is a little like cultivating nature.
Establishing team work is to take what is already good in others. To be open to and receptive oneself, to be willing to share in a fashion that allows another to flower. This type of process makes the good ever more beautiful.
Such a process makes what is good even better.
Team work can be misunderstood, just as pride and humility can be misunderstood. Not everyone ‘gets it.’ But once a team comes together, works and stays together, the results can be amazing, truly humbling, and beautiful to behold.
Post written by
L. A. “Tony” Kovach