What Does It Mean To Be Humble?

June 20th, 2013 by Robert Rodriguez Jr.

© Robert Rodriguez Jr. Photography

Landscape and nature photographers often talk about being in wonder and awe of nature, and of being humbled by the beauty, power, and majestic qualities of the natural world.

The term “humility” comes from the Latin word “humilitas”, a noun related to the adjective “humilis”, which may be translated as “humble”, but also as “grounded”, “from the earth”, or “low”, since it derives in turns from humus (earth).

While we often think of humility as something that we do, humility or being humble can be thought of as something that we are. But what does that really mean?

Here are a few definitions I’ve learned from others that have helped me understand what it means to be humble, and how that relates to landscape and nature photography, whether shooting, teaching, sharing, learning, or any other aspect of life in general.

  • Recognizing our limitations
  • The willingness to learn
  • Realizing how much there is to do, vs how much we’ve done.
  • Letting go of conceit (or the constant habit of comparing ourselves to others)
  • Learning to ask for help
  • The willingness to be corrected
  • The willingness to share our faults and our strengths.
  • The willingness to appreciate others, or find something to appreciate in others.

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.” – Helen Keller

Are any of these familiar to you? Do you have any other suggestions for what being humble is? Does it matter when it comes to landscape photography? Please share your feedback…it helps us all.

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