The Myth of Modesty
From an early age we are encouraged to be as modest as possible by teachers, parents, and Disney movies, and told never, under any circumstances to be selfish. The fact that this type of education is dangerously unbalanced is often ignored, and modesty is continuously touted as a wonderful quality and a sign of noble character, but what is modesty really? If we look at modesty with honest eyes, what will we find? Is it good and healthy to be modest? If so, what are the advantages of this adored quality?
Consider the following scenario: Lets say you are about to freeze to death, and someone asks you if you are cold, the modest thing to say is, “no, I’m perfectly fine, don’t worry about me.” And if that passerby happens to be a winter coat salesman, and upon seeing that you’re turning blue and have an inch of snow on your head, he offers you a free coat, the proper modest reply is, “Oh no, I couldn’t, you’re too generous.”
Is modesty really such a virtuous quality? What is modesty not in theory, but in reality? The dictionary says it best:
Merriam Webster Definition of modesty: Not too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities. Not showing or feeling great or excessive pride. Placing a moderate estimate on one's abilities or worth. Neither bold nor self-assertive. Unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one’s abilities or achievements.
As far as I can tell, modesty is not only a harmful quality, but as a whole, it is a big charade. I have come to this conclusion after having been on the inside of this operation myself. After many years of working hard to be a modest person, I realized that I was quietly very proud of being modest, and much like a person who boasts and brags, I was putting on a show and acting self-important. I found out that being modest was a less honest version of being prideful. For those who have not been modest, I have to say it is a most unfortunate affliction. Being modest involves, never perusing what you really want, always taking the smallest piece of food, only wearing dark green, grey, and brown colors, and other ridiculous heart-breaking habits.
My hope is that I have helped you see through a most unfortunate social façade, and that you will try to be your genuine self instead of some show-off modest person like myself. If you don’t agree with my perspective, and intend to continue going on being a modest person, I have some final coaching tips for you to improve your modesty performance: when someone accidentally hits you, apologize for bumping into them. When someone hurts your feelings, smile and say, “thank you for your feedback.” And finally, when you meet the love of your life in the hallway, keep looking at the floor and pretend that nothing happened.
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