It’s not easy letting things go when your pride and ego have been wounded. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t automatically react in a negative way, at least not initially.
There are some people who try to cultivate humility by letting things go, whether they were at fault for not. In fact, Benedictine monks do just this.
In his book, Humility Rules: Saint Benedict’s 12-Step Guide to Genuine Self-Esteem, Father Augustine Wetta, O.S.B, gives tips on how to work on humility and boost self-esteem in a way that is both tangible and sanctifying.
Since we’re still at the beginning of the Lenten season, you may want to try some of these tips from Fr. Wetta as part of your daily acts of penances.
1. Let someone less competent than you tell you what to do.
2. The next time someone treats you unfairly (cuts in line, plays loud music, eats something with your name on it in the fridge…) smile and thank God for him.
3. Spend an entire day without correcting anyone.
4. Keep your next opinion to yourself.
5. Take the blame for something you didn’t do. There will be an opportunity.
6. Fix something you didn’t break or clean something you didn’t dirty.
7. Make no excuses the next time you’re reprimanded.
8. Deliberately walk (or drive) behind someone slow.
9. Thank God for something you’re not good at.
10. Just say ‘thank you’ the next time someone tells you something you already know.
11. Refrain from having the last word in your next conversation (even if it’s friendly).
12. The next time someone compliments you, give God the credit.
13. The next time someone annoys you, don’t tell anyone.
14. Let yourself be interrupted in a conversation, and don’t finish what you were going to say unless someone asks.
15. This Sunday, set an alarm to go off every thirty minutes. Whenever the alarm sounds, stop what you are doing and say an Our Father.
These tips are just some of the many ways you can grow in humility.
To get more ideas or to learn more about the reasoning behind these acts, be sure to read Fr. Wetta’s (highly recommendable) book!