What lies between humility and learning? It’s the Thankfulness Branch.
Learning explains the “why” of humility. We know we ought to be humble, but the aspect of learning and growing motivates the unassuming nature because of reward. It indwells humility with truth, demonstrating it works as a worthwhile exercise. Unless this is understood humility doesn’t make its fullest sense to us beyond knowing we’re supposed to have it.
The Thankfulness Branch is the path getting a person from an expression of humility—a position where they don’t know it all, and in fact have some more to learn right now—to actual learning... which presents its own intrinsic rewards.
The Paradox of Learning
We cannot enjoy life without learning how to live it well—indeed to learn how to learn; that is to know what it’s really about. But, there are barriers to it. It looks unrewarding to go there—to learning. It looks like a lot of effort for not much.
Now, without venturing to learning we find ourselves in all manner of hellishness. There’s just one choice. Is it to be prideful ignorance or humility? The former gets us the immediate reward which is shallow; an ultimate dead end and even the moment (in truth) knows it. The latter takes advantage of the wisdom of delayed gratification. Yes... no pain, no gain.
Thanks as a Bridge
Over the branch we traverse to get to learning and life efficacy there’s a gap enfolded in thanks. This means we’re to be necessarily thankful for the learning opportunities, even the embarrassing ones. (See how this cycles back, making our humility even more authentic?)
And this is the chief indicator of the most basic need.
It’s the moral virtue of genuine thanks and certitude to God that gets us from a demonstrative humility to the realisation of learning.
The rewards, from there, cascade like a waterfall. And so becomes a beautiful self-fulfilling prophesy in the name of God’s wisdom, which truly anyone may draw upon.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.