2010-04-09

Humility (or lack thereof)

I have noticed that quite a few people in Israel, unlike in Japan, show off even in public, whether consciously or unconsciously, as an effort to impress (and attract) others, by daring to say or write how smart and nice-looking they are. Humility has been considered a virtue in traditional Jewish culture, but I am afraid that this may not be the case any more with many people who identify themselves more with modern Israeli culture.

You may really have some exceptional intelligence and appearance, but saying to others that you do seems to taint all the virtues you have. Actually, when I see someone say or write this way about him- or herself, I lose no time in starting to stay away from him or her, as I feel that something fundamental is wrong with him or her. I am even ashamed to find that such people do not seem to be ashamed at all to brag and aware that they can look ugly and miserable to certain people.

There is a subtle but significant difference between bragging and showing self-condifence. Most braggarts may also have to be self-confident, whether with good reason or not. But I believe that the virtues you have must be emitted like auras around you, and those who have good senses cannot fail to miss them. Explaining verbally to others that you have certain virtues probably means that you are not confident at least in one thing - your ability to emit such auras. Your verbal explanations are substitutes for your nonexistent or weak auras.

As is often the case in life, if you chase after someone or something, they will escape you; letting them chase after you seems to be a wiser way to attain whom or what you want.