Inspired Living: Mother Teresa's Humility List

Mother Teresa Humility List | The Silver Pen

Recently, I came across Mother Teresa’s Humility List. My oh my oh my. Despite being a humongous fan of Mother Teresa’s, this is the first time that I’ve seen this list. Honest to goodness, this was a goosebump-inducing stroke of inspiration that was divinely delivered today. Seriously.

Just this week, we have been teaching Suddenly Seven about the concept of humility. Instilling confidence balanced by humility is, by the way, quite a challenging parenting task. Just sayin’. Anyhoo, Suddenly Seven described humility as “Not bragging.” “Yes, that’s a start,” we said. I think that – as is the case so often – Mother Teresa continues to teach.

I hope that you are as inspired by Mother Teresa’s Humility List as I am!

  1. Speak as little as possible about yourself.
  2. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.
  3. Avoid curiosity (though I don’t think that she is referring to learning, here)
  4. Do not interfere in the affairs of others.
  5. Accept small irritations with good humor.
  6. Do not dwell on the faults of others.
  7. Accept censures even if unmerited.
  8. Give in to the will of others.
  9. Accept insults and injuries.
  10. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.
  11. Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone.
  12. Do not seek to be admired and loved.
  13. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity.
  14. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right.
  15. Choose always the more difficult task.

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  1. Jim Moschetti says

    I just read this and am amazed at her ability to be humble in all aspects of life. Without the grace of God this is impossible but with grace I can do it.

  2. Carolee Groux says

    Mother Theresa, she either has been or is up for sainthood. (These proclamations take awhile.)

    She lived her life so humbly, but her funeral was like that of royalty or rulers or presidents. Such a dichotomy from the way she lived her life; I'm not sure she would have approved. However people all around the world loved and respected her, so the pageantry was for the them.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful humility list. I'm afraid I fall short on most of the 15.

  3. Kim C says

    This is not easy work. I often feel so far from this list – yet I try to practise humility daily. There is truth to closed eyes and bowing ones head into clasped hands – it physically grounds the heart and turns us inward. Focusing on the breath at any given moment helps me with acceptance, patience and gratitude. I believe in the psychological truth that we are all doing the very best we can – yet there is always room for improvement.
    Interestingly, I volunteered with a woman a couple times per week for over a year and she never told me she had been a doctor in India. She told me all kinds of other things about herself, but never that. We were often very busy, but I'll always remember her warm and humble ways.
    Thank you, Hollye. A list for the inspiration board 🙂

  4. Sharon says

    Thank you far sharing this Hollye! I've never seen it either. Do you mind if I share it? I've been reading your blog from the beginning. I'm almost through your cancer treatment (radiation is almost finished). You amaze me! Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You are truly an inspiration.

    • says

      Dear Sharon, Thank you for your note. Of course you may share. Please share anything and everything that you would like. Readers like you inspire me!