Because it is a background virtue, humility (derived from the Latin for ‘low’) is best described in terms of what it isn’t. It isn’t ambitious, holds no opinions, declines to judge, has no enemies, does nothing unnecessarily, is unconcerned with image, doesn’t need notes.
Can we try to be kind, try to be virtuous, try to be happy? Well, yes. Trying is always an option. But what has trying ever accomplished? Turn away from the man whose best counsel is to try harder. He’s an emissary of miserableness.
If you sin, sin boldly, openly. If you are virtuous, keep it quiet.
We’ve weighed anchor on the inner journey when we start to shed our dependencies. Pinned as we are between fear and craving, there’s no shortage. The last of these vampiric entities to be pared away are the ones masquerading as virtues. Loyalty, for example.
Let us remind ourselves that none of the virtues—love, forgiveness, generosity, courage et al—require any effort. The only thing effort can do is turn them into a religion.