Failure, or: Humility

I've failed myself in so many ways
To enumerate them would me take days
But I would never judge you
For when all's said and through
Nothing but my humility stays

78 thoughts on “Failure, or: Humility”

  1. David, you hit on why I found Mussar so difficult. Thanks.Patience vs. Alacrity, anger v. acceptance. Trust in God, but what if things are not well? Humility, but what if there are wrongs like racism, that require strong action, not acceptance or humility. The balance is so elusive. The only Mussar middah that really seemed natural was gratitude. We have our last class today.

      1. eight. We covered Alacrity, Anger, Gratitude, Honor, Humility, Patience, simplicity and Trust. The materials were from the Mussar Insitutue.

  2. we studied humility in our first week of Mussar. The catchword was “no more than my place, no less than my space”. It is a very difficult concept. Moses was said to be humble. But he was a leader who did not hesitate to take on Pharoah, Koreh and even his own sister. Plus, we are told to reprove our erring brethren if we witness misbehavior. So where is the boundary line between humility and tolerating wrongfulness? When, and not just if, we should sometimes judge others.
    But how?

    1. So where is the boundary line between humility and tolerating wrongfulness? When, and not just if, we should sometimes judge others.

      Peter, I had to read your comment several times to make sure I fully understood it. It may be the most serious and challenging comment that I’ve received. It’s a terrific point. When I wrote the poem, I wasn’t think about “wrongfulness” – I was thinking about people’s imperfections… but you are so right. There are definitely acts that I would judge somebody for severely. Where do I draw the line? I have absolutely no idea!


  3. The comments in French strained my Schoolboy brain, but a good job was done by all. The comments are poetry by themselves. I liked the insideoutidness of the poem.

  4. This poem is a balm
    for the humility
    of my aching soul today.
    For you have said
    what I felt
    but couldn’t say.

    Merci pour ces drapeaux de priers
    Le vent les attrappe
    et il les nous envoie
    pour colorer nos cœurs
    avec des coups de soleil

  5. Failure turns on the taps….so we can wash ourselves in that fragrant liquid called humility.
    What a refreshing feeling, all the great men an women, the beautiful and the ordinary have never judged failure.

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