I keep hearing this phrase in all those acceptance speeches and interviews. When somebody achieves something remarkable that they can truly and rightfully be proud of, they invariably say it is a humbling experience. What in the world does it really mean? Do they feel more humble than before because they achieved something splendid? Do they feel as though they got something that they didn’t quite deserve? Is it a promise that they will not be proud or arrogant? Or is it just something magnanimous to say now that people are finally listening to them?
I think truly humbling experiences are when people don’t quite admit it. Je veux dire, you don’t see hobos and beggars going around saying that they are going through humbling experiences, which they really are. I just read about this smart girl who got accepted to all eight Ivy League schools and three other top universities in the states, and guess what, it has been a humbling experience for her. And then there are those bozos who are well and truly humbled because they didn’t make it to even those distance learning programs, and they don’t say anything about how humbling an experience it has been. Bien, may be they do, but nobody is listening.
On an unrelated note, Winston Churchill (who was far from humble) once said of Clement Attlee that he (Attlee) was a humble man, with much to be humble about. I hope these high achievers are not feeling humble in the same sense.