Does Humiliation Beget Humility? Does the participation in sports develop humility?

Walking with Humble Stride … how is this taught to our kids?

Twenty six years ago, I was sitting in a McDonald’s with a friend Jill and our children. The kids were snacking after and activity and we were getting a few minutes of ‘mom chat’. In my usual pondering, philosopher fairy style I turned to her and asked, “Jill do you not think in today’s world we need to teach our kids to be humble?” Jill then asked me, “ Do you mean our kids should be humiliated? Is that how humility is taught?” I responded, “Hmmm no I don’t mean humiliated but how do we convey that sense of grace and modesty?” My thoughts went to humiliation as bullying in and we absolutely didn’t want to endorse bully parenting. Our discussion ensued until the kids finished gobbling up their treat and off we went to engage in a new adventure.

Humility is a quality that we all strive for throughout our life, sometimes more successfully than others while we battle the control freak ego. It is the quality that allows us to be strong without overbearing, acknowledge what we can do yet keep us curious and open. It is accepting and honouring others with the intention of win-win.

As parents, Mark and I tried to guide our boys to be humble. As a family we engaged in sports, specifically rep hockey and basketball activities that presented many teachable lessons in humility. Matthew had a rep basketball coach, Frank Lostracco who was a role model of humility; humble stride. He passed away to our shock two years ago and I shared this story back in a blog:

On the second anniversary of his death and to tribute this fine man, Mark illustrated the story and we set it as a video story. We believe that this story sends a message that can speak to people today as we surrender to our civic duty and as we have all be brought to a stand still in humility.

The topic of humility in mind, I did some meandering on the net and found these links to help support humility development and pondering.

Leadership and Life

Vocabulary that Stretches the Limits in Walking with Humble Stride


  • flounder – stumble
  • famished – hungry
  • sprouting – growing
  • fundamentals – basics
  • foundations – key rules of game
  • prevail – overcome
  • mope – sulk
  • funneling – focusing
  • fashioned – created
  • finesse – flair and style
  • fracture –break
  • fallacies – misconceptions
  • swaggering – smug walk, conceited
  • undaunted – fearless
  • fluctuated – wavered
  • foals – young horses
  • friction – conflict
  • dominant – leading
  • festering – growing
  • fuming – angry
  • flustered – nervous
  • looming – approaching
  • solitary – alone
  • flustered – disturbed
  • chagrin – disappointment
  • alternating – rotating
  • foul – illegal move, against the rules
  • gloat – lord over
  • smirk – unkind grin
  • psychology – mindset
  • inclusive – including
  • conclusive – result
  • guaranteed – certain