What is modesty but hypocritical humility…by means of which, in a world swelling with envy, a man seeks to obtain pardon for excellences and merits from those who have none?…No doubt when modesty was made a virtue it was a very advantageous thing for the fools; for everybody is expected to speak of himself as if he were one. – Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher who is making his second Thought for the Day appearance. Schopenhauer’s primary emphasis was that man was moved by his will, which he interpreted as wants or cravings. Today’s Thought was also the Quotebook selection in today’s Daily Dose, which doesn’t happen all that often.
Like most who make their mark in this world and live down the ages, Schopenhauer had a great belief in himself, his abilities and what he was meant to do with his life.
We should, too. We are not going to accomplish anything of note or substance without believing in ourselves. It doesn’t matter what it is, either. It could range from running for town council and doing some good for where you live to utilizing your talents to earn a good living for you and your family to following your heart and trusting your instincts and seeing where your path takes you.
As we mention here on a regular basis, all that really matters is that it comes from the heart, that you do something because you are compelled to do from deep inside.
…a man seeks to obtain pardon for excellences and merits from those who have none?
When we do accomplish something of note, it’s all right to acknowledge you did well; there is no need to dismiss it or wave it away. You probably worked awfully hard to get to that point and there is no place for false modesty and you certainly do not want to badger yourself by nitpicking some trivial things you could have done better. And it is possible to do this while still being humble because humility and accomplishment have been partners since time immemorial.
Humility can express itself by being thankful for the skills you were born with and for the good fortune that accompanied you along your way because there are billions of people living random lives and while some people find the end of the rainbow some get shot up at music festivals. Luck, both good and bad, plays a part in every life.
What you don’t want to be is cocky, that general air that gives the impression you are superior.
No, you are not superior to anyone. You are merely your very best. And it is OK to acknowledge and enjoy this.
The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.