That a noble "characteristic" — such as intellectual humility — may have been obtained/significantly cultivated by accident, not that it was endemic in the person (as we tend to suggest).
I think of this with respect to my idea that I am intellectually humble and willing to listen to "both sides" in a discussion. However, what if it were the case that this actually emerged (within me) quite by accident? "How might that be?", you might ask.
Consider that a vigorous debate might unfold
- Coming into a discussion late, after most parties have established a sense of oppositionality — that they are opposed to one another.
Wondering how one might have come to the conclusion of X (such as believing that such and such is the case, when it is not obvious to me that that is the case — note that I may truly lack a degree of understanding that they have; it may not merely be the case that I know their reasoning for their conclusion and yet the conclusion seems (to me) to be insufficiently reasoned for, given their reasons/premises (I'm struggling to think of a proper name for this phenomenon, but it does emerge in cases of PresumptionOfMisunderstandingAmidstDisagreement)).