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Mishlei 18-12 (Humility)

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Key Concepts of Mishlei 18-12 (Humility)
In a previous proverb (12-16), Mishlei warned people against arrogant pride and the hunger for honor that drives it. A person who seeks to be gratified by honors should expect the opposite, for pride is generally unjustified and is therefore a precurser to tragedy.
Mishlei now carries this theme forward and draws attention to the virtue of humility which is the converse of pride. A prideful person seeks honor but a humble person shuns honor. If he is honored, the honor comes to the humble person in recognition of his humility. He does not allow the honor to distort his character.
Whereas the prideful person is corrupted by honor, the humble person is ennobled by it.
Exploring Mishlei
(יב) לִפְנֵי שֶׁבֶר יִגְבַּהּ לֵב אִישׁ וְלִפְנֵי כָבוֹד עֲנָוָה:
A man’s prideful heart precedes tragedy and humility precedes honor.
This is a proverb of consequences. A person should recognize that his character, whether good or bad is likely to influence the course of his life. In turn, his character will be formed by the goals that he sets for himself.
A person who values honor will end up as prideful. Tragically, such a person will encounter the consequence of pride, which distorts his judgment of himself and the opinion that others have of him. Because of the high opinion he has of himself he doesn’t realize that he has incurred the wrath of Hashem. Thus, the possibility of tragedy is far from his mind.
Conversely, a person who shuns honor will end up as being a humble person. Hashem will reward his humility and people will respect his undemanding nature. And so his humility may very well end up bringing him the kind of consideration that is the fruit of honor.
Learning Mishlei
(יב) לִפְנֵי שֶׁבֶר יִגְבַּהּ לֵב אִישׁ 
וְלִפְנֵי כָבוֹד עֲנָוָה:
A man’s prideful heart is likely to be followed by tragedy  לִפְנֵי שֶׁבֶר יִגְבַּהּ לֵב אִישׁ and humility is likely to be followed by honor  וְלִפְנֵי כָבוֹד עֲנָוָה .
Additional Insights
(1) A person who is driven by selfish ambition is attracted to behavior that runs counter to the will of Hashem. Thus, Hashem grants him his wishes only in order to let him suffer the natural consequence of his own character defect. (מצודות)
(2) A prideful person thinks he is deserving of extra consideration. Therefore, he tends to make inordinate demands on those around him. This leads to resentment and ultimately rebellion. In contrast, the humble person feels he is undeserving and therefore expects less of those around him. Therefore, they find him a pleasure to associate with. That pleasure translates into honor and respect. (רשר"ה)