netzach shebbe hod
(endurance within humility)
The opposite of humility is pride. This being so, in focusing on our humility, we should be aware of pride in all of its manifestations, such as arrogance, haughtiness, and self centeredness. I’m sure there are other qualities that may be mentioned; I’ll leave this up to the reader. In diminishing pride, we allow for the presence of humility.
Pride is an overexagerated sense of self importance. Therefore, I would not include self esteem under the general category of pride. On the contrary, I believe that self esteem is both healthy and necessary in a person’s life. Of course, there is a fine line, that needs to be drawn by the individual.
How may the quality of endurance contribute to humility? It is not easy to maintain a modest estimation of oneself and one’s abilities. There is the lure of the secular perspective to aggrandize ourselves, compete against others, and climb up the ladder of egoism towards self glory. However, this is all contrary to humility.
Let me be clear, humility should not lead towards becoming a doormat, for others to wipe their feet upon. Humility should rather help us encounter an accurate understanding of our strengths and weaknesses. To know the truth about oneself, will further guard against narcissism, and the potential to form a false personae.
Ultimately, humility leads to splendor, another aspect of the sefirah “hod.” The two seem contrary to each other; yet, there is an explanation, grounded in the Tree of Life. By humbling ourselves before G-d, we can allow Him to raise us up, to build and rebuild our lives, and to cast His glory [splendor] upon us.