Theme 2019

The Honor of Humility: Discovering Dignity in Challenging Pride

In the age of social media, flaunting our lives online can be a source of success. Even when we intend to spread positivity through gaining popularity, we may see humility as an obstacle to that goal. How do we inculcate the virtue of humility when it seemingly brings us down? If we've learned that humility is a weakness, then this shortsighted understanding veils us from its possible hidden strength. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, once said, "…no one humbles themselves for the sake of God except that God raises their status” (Muslim).

It’s easy to fall prey to our pride. To gain more esteem in the eyes of others, we may follow celebrities who tell us what to buy or how to act. We may look at what others possess and compete with one another to project a lifestyle of success. Is our dignity found in the validation of others, or do we find it on our own terms?

Does humility require shunning the world in order to be humble and find our dignity? Not necessarily, according to prophetic teachings. For example, after Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, told his companions that “no one who has even a seed of arrogance in their heart will enter paradise,” a man objected saying, “I love to have beautiful clothes and shoes.” The Prophet, peace be upon him, alleviated the man’s concerns by replying, “God is beautiful, and He loves beauty. Arrogance means rejecting the truth and looking down on people” (Muslim).

The struggle for humility can be challenging, confusing, and even paradoxical, but it can yield amazing results. We encourage you to creatively explore these concepts, and more, in Regional and National competitions and workshops during MIST 2019. Remember that unique projects displaying creativity and insight will be judged most favorably.


Previous Themes

2018: The Valor of Mercy: Summoning the Strength of Compassion

2017: The Challenge of Beauty: Striving for Perfection in an Imperfect World

2016: The Race Against Time

2015: The Clarity of Sincerity: From Outer Perceptions to Inner Reflections

2014: The Art of Generosity: Finding the Greatness to Give

2013: The Patience of Champions: Rising to a Better Self

2012: Family: Reconnecting our Hearts to Home

2011: Loyalty: The Key to Faith and Citizenship