Humiliation vs Humility


Please have a peek at my last post Making Humiliation An Artform ! if you haven’t already.

There,the great British poet Auden postulated out that art is born of humiliation.

I guess we want to believe that art comes from some more pleasant emotional or spiritual experience ,but he had a point.

We all suffer crashing humiliation at some point -god knows I have – when we find out in no uncertain terms that we are not as good, morally upright, desirable, intelligent or indispensable or whatever we thought we were before the axe fell ,leaving us split into bits of the real truth ,laid bare for the world to see.

Art might come from there, or the resolve not to ever have that thing happen again,or maybe the urge to be “better”.

So, humiliation can be a catalyst for change.

But it is not the same as humility.

Humiliation might give us humility ,but equally might cause self-loathing or resentment.

You can’t sustain humiliation as a force for change in your life or to create something new and  different, it is just a starting point.

Humility, however ,can give us those things. It is hard ,because subjugating our ego-driven selves to the uncontrollable is something we naturally are threatened by, and fight.

And the sharp blade of humiliation need not necessarily have to dissect us in order to find humility.

Getting  back to art, and using the beautiful and shining copper sculpture in the above photo to illustrate – copper is a soft metal and can be beaten (humiliating moments again!) and shaped into almost anything. Infinitely malleable.

We have to be that way too – responsive,shaped and trained into transcendent form by outside forces.

The world will remember that self we became, long after our moments of personal disaster are forgotten.