Words of Wisdom Part 8 | Humbling Yourself In front of a Proud Person


The Fathers of the Church say that if you humble yourself in front of a proud person, you could make him a demon. I would say this is the case if you have responsibility for this person. If he is your son or your spiritual child. If you always humble yourself in front of them even when they are wrong, they will never get the sense of what is right. They can become spoiled and proud. But if this has to do with your wife, you humble yourself to keep the peace in the family. Then when times are peaceful you can explain, in a nice way, as much as she can handle: “look this is how things are”. This is not to justify yourself but to avoid future misunderstandings and further develop the peace in the family.


If a discussion will not change a thing, just stay as humble as possible. You can’t use what we mentioned before: “if you humble yourself in front of a proud person you could make him a demon”, as an excuse to judge the other person as proud and not humble yourself. When you need to manage situations at work or with your close environment, there are two ways of dealing with them. You either peacefully tell them what’s right and you leave it there, so they get a sense of what is right and at the same time you don’t create too much of a mess in your relationship, or you avoid them altogether if they could never understand that they are wrong. At least then you take care of your own peace.


Audience


Because I was discussing something with someone and he got violent.


Gerondas


This person has a problem.


Audience


You walk away?


Gerondas


You can’t fix everybody’s problems. You can only guard your own peace and your family’s peace. If you do so, others might notice and make a change in their lives too. You can’t tell others what to do.


Audience


Say, we see a person and, you are right in what you said before that: “if you humble yourselves in front of a proud person you make them a monster”. Then, what do we do in front of a proud person? Do we go against them?


Gerondas


First of all, how do know that this person is proud? You have to have come across this person a thousand times to know them that well. So if it’s a once off, humble yourself and go away. You don’t know this person, you don’t know what they’re going through. So you can’t judge him as a proud. But if it’s a member of your family and you know that this person is extremely proud from the minute they were born and, you don’t say this to insult or to judge, but, this is how it is, then just keep away.


Audience


I don’t think there is any other option but to be humble. If you go against them there will be war. Is that right? Just walk away?


Gerondas


It depends on your position. If you’re a parent, a teacher, a judge, an Elder or a Bishop you have to discipline the proud gently in the case you believe they could be corrected. You can’t fix ot


hers. The elder that said: “if you humble yourself in front of a proud person you could make him a demon”, isn’t talking about the one person that you meet in the street while you drive and he does something that is wrong. And neither about a person that you will meet once and he does the wrong thing. We can’t give to this person a “proud” label. You don’t know what’s happening in his life and his soul.


Audience


Yes but he gives us a statement: “If you are humble in front of a proud person you make him a monster”. What does it mean?


Gerondas


It means that when you know a person for years and years and this person is proud and your position is having a responsibility for this person you need to correct him.


Audience


What happens if you don’t have a responsibility?


Gerondas


If you don’t have a responsibility you can say something in a more polite way

and if he or she listens, you did your job. If not, you can’t fix it. Just keep your

peace and walk away.


Audience


So Geronda in this situation avoiding is the key.


Gerondas


Yes. Because you keep your peace. There is another situation too. If you end up saying something after years and years that this person is in front of your nose, a proud person, and you do it not because you want to react, you do it because if this person doesn’t get a hint to realise that there is something wrong there, he or she might never understand that there is something wrong. That’s fine. If this doesn’t work then just walk away. Pray but don’t worry about it. It will never be fixed. But don’t open up a war zone. If it’s just a once off thing, walk away. If it’s something unfixable, walk away too.







This [article series] has been transcribed and edited from a talk in a young families gathering in Perth, Western Australia, organised by the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St John.

64 views
The central youth committee NSW
  • White Tumblr Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White YouTube Icon
  • White Facebook Icon

Email us at goayouthnsw@gmail.com | 242 Cleveland St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia

@2020 The Central Youth Committee NSW.