Examples of Humility Expressed in Different Ways

Updated November 7, 2020
Statue of a person praying as examples of humility

Humility is the quality of being humble and means putting the needs of another person before your own, and thinking of others before yourself. It also means not drawing attention to yourself, and it can mean acknowledging that you are not always right.

Humility Comes in Many Forms

There are many examples of humility. A few are listed below:

  • Mother Teresa was a teacher in a school in India, and all her needs were met in the convent where she lived. However, she chose to give up her life in that convent in order to live with the poorest of the poor on the streets of Calcutta, taking care of the very sick and dying. She took care of people with whom no one else wanted to bother.
  • The Missionaries of Charity is the name of the religious order Mother Teresa started. Women who join this order give up their possessions and live a life of great simplicity. When they find people dying in the streets and the slums, they take them into their hospitals, clean them up, give them medical care, and if they cannot recover, provide a clean and sanitary place to die with dignity.
  • A woman started a non-profit when was 22, and has been given numerous awards for her work over the last 20 years. Even though she is in charge of a lot of people, her humility is evident in that she never draws attention to herself, is not afraid to dig in and do the hard work of serving others, and never boasts of her accomplishments.
  • Hugh Jackman just turned in an incredible performance as Jean Valjean in the movie version of the musical Les Miserables. While many actors and celebrities are arrogant, Hugh's humility shines through in interviews, as he speaks of how grateful he is for this opportunity, how hard the role was, and how great it was to work with amazing people.
  • Anne Hathaway also turned in a strong performance in Les Miserables. In the movie, she sings a song called "I Dreamed A Dream." This song is beautiful and is often sung to showcase a singer's vocal talents. Rather than belt out the song in a way that would show how beautiful her voice is, Anne chose to sing it in as realistic a way as possible, which meant her voice did not sound as beautiful as it could. Singing it this way brought more believability to her character, even though it did not sound as beautiful as it could have.
  • Though he was God, Jesus Christ came to the Earth as a baby, being born in the humble environment of a stable. During his public ministry, even though he was a king, he owned nothing and did not have a home to live in.
  • Being a parent can be a very humble job, wiping noses, changing diapers, and meeting a child's every need for years.
  • Letting someone ahead of you in line when you see they are in a hurry is an act of humility.
  • Cleaning the bathroom of your office, even though you own the company, is an example of humility.
  • The star of the basketball team could score a tremendous amount of baskets in any given game, but instead he takes lots of opportunities to pass the ball to his teammates so they can try to score as well. This shows the athlete's humility.
  • The owner of a Fortune 500 company can spend her money and time however she likes. Every week she volunteers at a local soup kitchen, gives a great deal of her money to charities that are important her, and gets to know the people who work at, and are served by, those organizations.
  • A valedictorian who credits her success to her parents and her teachers shows humility.
  • An athlete who credits his success to his teammates, even though he has great skill, shows humility.
  • When a gifted photographer receives compliments on his work, he says thank you, but always remarks about how fun it was to take pictures for the people in the photos and how they made it easy to take great pictures.
  • Kelly insisted that she was right and Julie was wrong in front of the whole class. When it was proven that Julie was right and Kelly was wrong, Kelly received a lesson in humility.
  • When Bill was given a lifetime achievement award, he accepted it with great humility, thanking God and the people in his life for making his work possible.
  • After realizing that she had made a huge mistake in blaming Mike for the error she had made, Hannah learned the importance of humility and no longer thought that she was always right.
  • Even though Kate Middleton married into British royalty, she still likes to do her own grocery shopping and cooking.

These examples of humility are a good way to better understand the concept of humility.