Uriah Heap is one of literature’s most obnoxoius characters. His very name makes one’s skin crawl. Desception, disloyalty, conspiracy, betrayal all cloaked in the guise of his mother’s summons to submissive huimility. If that is humility, little wonder few aspire to be humble.
The virtua of humility is at the heart of Islam, submission in humility to Allah, of Sikhism, Hinduism and of course in both Old and New Testament teaching. The invitation to a balanced ego is universal. In jest, Oliver Wendell Holmes described it as the first of the virtures, —for other people.
In my occasonal consciouusness examinations I soemtimes pose the following questions even as I look at the summer Tee Shirt my sons provided emblazened with the slogal “Im kind of a big deal”, and I am conscous of the following : 1] I am far too often influenced by what others think of me. 2} I challoenge myself with the questions, do i pretend always to be either richer or smarter or nicer than I really am?.and why? 3] I ask myself why I need to atrract attention and fill the room? In my interior being I do not want to gloat over praise on one hand, or be discouraged by criticism on the other. Nor do I want to waste time weaving imaginary situations in which the most heroic, charming, witty person present is myself.
Alas, I am guilty of all the above and much more. Perhaps humiity is about recognizing that one is ordinary, and I most assuredly do not want to be ordinary. You know I would probably have needed little prompoting to take the first bite of the original apple. Its freeing to recognize that sometimes one wants to play God.