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Embracing humility and cultivating wisdom

One year ago the world came off the tracks. And, while we started out by trying to get it back on the rails we soon realized that what we really needed was a whole new path. Educators, health care professionals, business leaders and governments realized that adapting to new realities was the priority and that the ability to pivot was now the most important tactic.

Our vision of re-imagining possibilities had never been more relevant!

During this period we also came to understand the critical necessity for humility and the cultivation of wisdom. Why? In times of rapid change we can sometimes lose track of our core principles in the desire to quickly develop tactical responses. There’s an old southern saying that goes, “When you’re up to your neck in alligators, it’s tough to remember that your job is to drain the swamp.”

And the scope of that job was, at times, daunting. We needed to embrace the reality that we didn’t have all the answers. The road to successfully navigating the need for change was paved with collaboration and cooperation.

As Sinek writes, humility has nothing to do with meekness or weakness. And neither does it mean being self-effacing or submissive. Humility is an attitude of spiritual modesty that comes from understanding our place in the larger order of things. This learning increases our overall wellbeing and it is an effective antidote to the self-absorbed obsessions of this period.

Humility is inextricably entwined with learning and teachability because it promotes constant self-correction and self-improvement. Always be a work in progress.  That is right where we live at MAC.

Along with embracing humility we needed to cultivate wisdom through questioning, examining, thinking and logical argument. While this may sound like a grandiose ambition it is not and there are some simple steps we can all take to become more wise.

Remain open to and seek out new experiences:

We all had this pretty much forced upon us last year. However, this has been something we’ve always pursued. We listen to others, we encourage contributions and we try to learn from the experiences of others.

Be accepting of alternative perspectives:

Try this…the next time you’re in a debate and about to state an alternative point of view, stop for just a moment and ask a question instead. This simple act allows us to build empathy and understanding.

Learn the lessons of history:

Reflect on your own life lessons and see what might illuminate your way forward.

Keep your act together:

During times of crisis many people react before thinking. A better, wiser course is to respond calmly by considering alternative and potential solutions.

Develop your empathic skills:

There is an apparent empathy deficit in our world today. As Daniel Pink writes, “Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.”

And all of this goes to say, with all of its challenges and downsides, 2020 was the motivation for many of us to respond with vision, perspective and an understanding that re-imagining possibilities is a clear route forward.

Author: MacLachlan College

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