Men like to joke with each other and sometimes it sounds arrogant when it’s really just confidence and we’re trying to be funny. Here are two of my favorites:

When someone asks me how I’m doing, I’ll say, “If I were doing any better, I’d be twins.” My wife replied, once, “I’m not sure the world could handle that…”

When I was combing my thinning, grey hair in front of the mirror one day I joked to another man who was combing his hair, “I’m so good looking, I get jealous of myself.” He said, looking at his own reflection and laughing, “I know, right?” That kind of good natured joking is healthy. It’s confident but we know we’re joking. The late, great Jim Rohn advocated we be humble but confident and I actually made this wisecrack, once, “Nobody is more humble than I am.”

Humble confidence can be a very tricky balance, but I liked the concept as soon as I heard it and it has fascinated me ever since. Here’s one way to think of it: confidence means you have faith in your own abilities, humility is being aware of your own ignorance. Recently we posted a link to an interview with Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He was being interviewed by his wife. In that interview she asked him about The Litany of Humility, which she said he prayed every day. I had never heard of The Litany of Humility, so I looked it up. It is attributed to Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, who lived from 1865-1930. If you are interested in studying Humility and want a good place to start, you could do a lot worse than this. I figure if it’s good enough for Justice Thomas, it’s good enough for me.

The Litany of Humility

Lord Jesus. Meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Be bold, be authentic, be masculine, but remember, nobody is more humble than I am.

Respectfully,

Shannon