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The Table Video

Peter C. Hill

What's the Point of Humility?

Professor of Psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University
July 2, 2019

What’s the point in seeking humility? Dr. Krumrei-Mancuso and Dr. Peter Hill discuss the end goal of humility, addressing why humility is intrinsically and not just instrumentally valuable.


Thinking about the goals of humility, really, if my goal to become humble is really just so that other people will think that I’m so humble, [laughter] and like me more because of it, that suggests that I don’t think, or that suggests that I don’t understand humility, I don’t understand the goals of it, I don’t understand the point of being humble. Both of you to reflect and hear a conclusion, about why be humble, what are the goals here really? What is it aimed towards?

Yeah I think this circles back to what we were talking about before. About definitions of humility, doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less, and if that’s how you view humility so it’s not about oh let people think how humble I am, it’s about how can I shift my focus to things outside of myself, right, and just think of how much you’re free to help, and serve, and make a difference, make an impact, when you’re not focused on yourself, and you’re focused on a greater good, or a goal, or helping someone else. So I think being humble allows you to get there, so for that reason I think it’s pretty important.


Yeah, and I think one element of humility that we haven’t touched on, and earlier when I was giving some different views on limitations and so forth, one of them, I think is seeing yourself as part of the bigger picture, which I feel that sense of transcendence, which is part of the Christian message, the world is not centered around me, there’s a much bigger issue, sometime I’m going to pass and they’ll say nice things maybe, maybe, at my funeral, and then life goes on.

And I think that seeing where your particular role is, is so important, so it comes back to the point that Liz was making earlier, and that is, really what is the motivation, is it to seek truth? Is it to really gain understanding? Or is there some sort of ego investment that’s here? And I think if we can take some inventory about that issue, I think the world would be a better place. Whether it be politics and the church, where in the work place, wherever it might be.