Humilitas, John Dickson
Interesting take drawing on ancient philosophy as well as the Bible. With many other writers on the topic he confesses that the humble are unlikely to think of themselves as so and its pursuit can itself be arrogant. Dickson’s thesis is that “the most influential and inspiring people are often marked by humility” (19).
He defines humility as “the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself. == more simply a humble person is marked by a willingness to hold power in the service of others.” (24) Helpfully he adds that humility is “more about how I treat others than how I think about myself.” (25)
More than describing humility or how to exercise it, Dickson’s aim is to convince us of its logic, beauty and benefits. Multiple examples including from history (with pictures) help make his point.
In his final chapter on how to cultivate humility Dickson advises, 1. We are shaped by what we love. 2. Reflect on the lives of the humble. 3. Conduct thought experiments to enhance humility. 4. Act humbly. 5. Invite criticism. Finally, forget about being humble.
Dickson then quotes C.S. Lewis “He will not be thinking about humility at all: he will not be thinking about himself at all.” A helpful book for all readers including those who are not Christians.