Humility is the Willingness to Understand Another Person Without Prejudice (There’s No Human Dignity Without It)

Darren Stehle
2 min readMay 21, 2022
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Humility cultivates connection and acceptance through the willingness to understand another person’s perspective, values, or beliefs.

You don’t have to agree.

With humility, you are seeking to understand how you and the person you’re speaking with show up in the world. You’re seeking truth without the need to be right. You’re building a bridge to recognize both your contributions and place in the world and for the common good.

A healthy common good requires free-flowing communication.

The root meaning of communication is to commune, to share your intimate thoughts or feelings with someone else.

Quality communication requires vulnerability and open-hearted courage to share our truth, which cultivates trust, supporting acceptance and connection. The more we trust another person, the closer the connection. The deeper the connection, the more you’ll accept that person.

Unfortunately, this is not our current norm.

Talking over/at, shouting, ignoring, cancelling.

None of those options is skillful for connection or the common good.

Each starts from the place of, I’m right, and you’re wrong (or bad). They destroy dialogue and constructive debate. They act as a metaphorical wall instead of a bridge to connection.

Just because you think it’s true doesn’t make it true.

If you don’t know why you believe what you believe (why you’re right), intellectual humility will be challenging. The more uncritical and dogmatic your beliefs, the greater your unwillingness to understand. This kind of thinking is accompanied by emotions like hate, defensiveness, disgust, and self-righteousness.

The danger to humanity is when people foster radically prejudicial beliefs that deny universal human dignity.

If you don’t believe every human being deserves dignity, you place yourself in a category of superior that can lead to crimes against humanity.

Darren Stehle

Strategy & Performance Coaching for LGBTQ+ Creators & Innovators.