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Quotations about Humility

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Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all. ~William Temple

Don't speak of your talents, but make them speak of you. ~Minna Thomas Antrim (1861–1950), Don'ts for Girls, 1902

Swallow your pride occasionally, it's non-fattening! ~Author Unknown

It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others. ~Andrew J. Holmes, Wisdom in Small Doses

A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle. ~Benjamin Franklin

Be humble if thou wouldst attain to Wisdom. Be humbler still, when Wisdom thou hast mastered. ~Helena P. Blavatsky (1831–1891)

There is in some people a quietly unassuming pride that no misfortune can humble, and it goes by the name of humility. ~Robert Brault,

Most of us retain enough of the theological attitude to think that we are little gods. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Be mindful of humility: the gale that breaks the pine does not bruise the violet. ~Austin O'Malley (1858–1932), Thoughts of a Recluse, 1898

Until I have come humbly, I shall know that I have not come at all. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: XIII," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923

A man is never so badly cheated as when he believes too much in himself. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

It wasn't until late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say "I don't know." ~W. Somerset Maugham

Humility is to make a right estimate of one's self. ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The average man is not half enough of an egotist. If egotism means a terrific interest in one's self, egotism is absolutely essential to efficient living. ~Arnold Bennett (1867–1931)

Mock modesty is vice behind the mask of virtue. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

If we were but conscious of our own utter littleness, we would not dare look with contempt on the smallest atom in the world. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840

There is much proud humility and humble pride in the world! ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

Some people are proud of their lack of pride. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1904, George Horace Lorimer, editor

If I only had a little humility, I would be perfect. ~Ted Turner

There are two kinds of egotists: Those who admit it, and the rest of us. ~Laurence J. Peter

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. ~Malcolm S. Forbes

There are a billion people in China. It's not easy to be an individual in a crowd of more than a billion people. Think of it. More than a BILLION people. That means even if you're a one-in-a-million type of guy, there are still a thousand guys exactly like you. ~A. Whitney Brown, The Big Picture

We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glowworm. ~Winston Churchill

Brave actions never want a trumpet. ~Proverb

If a man possesses great talents, he need not publish them; they will generally publish themselves. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

Don't talk about yourself; it will be done when you leave. ~Wilson Mizner

A boaster and a liar are cousins. ~German proverb

It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles. ~Niccolò Machiavelli

The egotist uses only one I — and that a capital. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes. ~Edward Frederick Halifax

I should certainly not assume that exclusive, monarch-of-all-I-survey air... ~Mabel Barnes-Grundy, The Vacillations of Hazel, 1905

Do not underestimate, in a world of self-confident bluster, the sexiness of being quiet and unassuming and, at times, a little lost. ~Robert Brault,, 2018

Spoil not an act of kindness by speaking of it. ~Proverb

The selfish man looks into the world as he looks into his mirror: only to see himself. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

Before you criticize a boastful person, remember — it's hard to be humble when no one is proud of you. ~Robert Brault,, 2019

The man who halted on third base to congratulate himself failed to make a home run. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, George Horace Lorimer, editor, as reprinted in Poor Richard Jr's Almanack, 1906

To be willing to be nothing.
To do the work, and erase the workman.
To paint the picture, and remove the palettes and myself.
To build a temple, and be willing to be the bearer of the chalice, the keeper of the vestry, the swayer of the burning myrrh.
To build me a lofty spire to the sky, not in pride but in all humility. It shall touch the heavens, while I, its humble builder, kneel lowly on its stone steps to pray.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXXI," A Soul's Faring, 1921

Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity. ~Frank Leahy, Look, 1955 January 10th

It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help. ~Author Unknown

It is always the secure who are humble. ~G.K. Chesterton

Few are humble, for it takes a self-esteem few possess. ~Robert Brault,

In all that surrounds him the egotist sees only the frame of his own portrait. ~J. Petit-Senn

Humble is such a lonely word. ~Kak Sri

Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple. ~Barry Switzer

When science discovers the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to find they are not it. ~Bernard Baily

To have a thing is little, if you're not allowed to show it, to know a thing, is nothing unless others know you know it. ~Charles Neaves

Know thyself, still the best antidote to a sense of moral superiority. ~Robert Brault,

We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility. ~Rabindranath Tagore

Blushing is the color of virtue. ~Diogenes

Glory is largely a theatrical concept. There is no striving for glory without a vivid awareness of an audience. ~Eric Hoffer, The True Believer, 1951

When someone sings his own praises, he always gets the tune too high. ~Mary H. Waldrip

Don't look for more honor than your learning merits. ~Jewish Proverb

With people of only moderate ability modesty is mere honesty; but with those who possess great talent it is hypocrisy. ~Arthur Schopenhauer

Egotism is overvaluing your little speck of the universe. ~Terri Guillemets

He was a very great writer; he donated his ego to the Harvard Medical School for study. ~Woody Allen, Sleeper, 1973  [of Norman Mailer —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

None are so empty as those who are full of themselves. ~Benjamin Whichcote

We would rather speak ill of ourselves than not talk about ourselves at all. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault, Maxims

Wear your learning like your watch, in a private pocket; and do not pull it out, and strike it, merely to show that you have one. ~Lord Chesterfield

People that put themselves above others will fall longer and harder. ~Gina Lindley

One learns to ignore criticism by first learning to ignore applause. ~Robert Brault,

A man may do an immense deal of good, if he does not care who gets the credit for it. ~Father Strickland, 1863 (Thanks, Garson O'Toole of!)

Lord, where we are wrong, make us willing to change; where we are right, make us easy to live with. ~Peter Marshall

Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

The man who thinks he can live without others is mistaken; the one who thinks others can't live without him is even more deluded. ~Hasidic Saying

Any party which takes credit for the rain must not be surprised if its opponents blame it for the drought. ~Dwight Morrow

If every fool wore a crown, we should all be kings. ~Welsh Proverb

[H]e was like a cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow. ~George Eliot, Adam Bede

I can't tell you if genius is hereditary, because heaven has granted me no offspring. ~James McNeill Whistler

You shouldn't gloat about anything you've done; you ought to keep going and find something better to do. ~David Packard

Nobody stands taller than those willing to stand corrected. ~William Safire

Modesty is the lowest of the virtues, and is a confession of the deficiency it indicates. He who undervalues himself is justly overvalued by others. ~William Hazlitt

Modesty is the gentle art of enhancing your charm by pretending not to be aware of it. ~Oliver Herford

Modesty is a lubricant for unpleasant intrusions. ~Norman Mailer, "The First Day's Interview"

Modesty: The art of encouraging people to find out for themselves how wonderful you are. ~Author Unknown

Flattery is all right so long as you don't inhale. ~Adlai Stevenson

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