The concept of humility comes from the Latin “humus” which for the Romans was the soil around a tree.
The meaning was that the humble person is the one who deals only with the reality that he knows and that he can manage directly.
Everyone has his own humus which includes his knowledge, skills and direct experiences. What you can develop and grow represents your reality, as an extension of your personality.
All what is outside is still unknown, even if it seems to be known through the experience of others people or through our imagination but it is still way above our league; it something that we can only grasp marginal or illusory aspects until we come to experience it directly.
Protagora defined this mechanism with the principle that Human Being is the measure of all things. This means, on one hand, that every person is able to transmit only his own reality in an authentic and credible way. In the same way he can only perceive the level of reality he has already experienced. It’s like a hen that is not able to perceive the totality of the human being or a small glass which cannot contain all the amount of liquid of a larger glass.
Following this logic our era is marked by the opposite of humility, that is what the ancients called hybris, so pride, like putting oneself above the other’s life, of those who judge and pretend to manage levels of reality that do not belong to them.
In the world of a globalized information, everyone believes that they can understand any topic simply because they believe they know it, while in reality they are often only repeaters of ideas and messages elaborated by others.
In general people who do not have the capability to understand situations and persons far from them, think they can judge them while their judgment shows only projection of his inner and very often unfinished reality instead.
Perhaps those who have the responsibility of informing others should represent only what they really experienced in life. And those who want to get authentic information should choose those who provide information which matches between what they say and what they have shown to do.
(Original article By Andrea Zoppolato & Duilio Forte)