Some people, such as the German philosopher Nietzsche, see humility as a weakness. But the ancient Greeks knew it to be an essential quality of heroes, a product of courage and self-knowledge. Humility is the antidote to pride, which the author C. S. Lewis once damned as the "greatest sin", the vice that leads to every other vice.
"There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves," he wrote last century.
Lewis also wrote that, unlike other vices, pride was intrinsically competitive, getting "no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man". He described it as a "spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love or contentment or even common sense [emphasis added - RC]".
from Miranda Devine, SMH