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aruna
12-23-2006, 01:01 PM
I have read a lot of posts about the importance of being humble, but as my husband points out, you need to reach a certain stature before you can afford to be humble. For ordinary folk, being humble will only result in people believing you when you say you're not so great. You have to reach a certain fame before you can say, "It was nothing," and have people say, "Isn't she humble?"


Janet, I disagree with you here. Humility is not the same as lack of confidence or self-esteem. It's a fine line to walk, yet important.

And being humble does not mean you go around saying you're not so great or putting yourself down. It's more of an attitude; when I finsih a book, for instance, if I am pleased with it I am truly awed by the process by which it came to me; I feel it is a gift, a miracle, and I feel humbled by it ; I feel "I did not really do it."

If you pretend to be more than you are as a way of getting attention, on the other hand, more often than not that backfires on you, because your bluster is not sincere and not based on any true achievement or talent; it's just ego, and it always rings false. In my eyes, it's important to be sincere no matter where you stand on the publishing ladder, at the bottom or at the top.

If you are truly talented that will shine through and others will notice and respond to it.

Elektra
12-23-2006, 08:51 PM
If you pretend to be more than you are as a way of getting attention, on the other hand, more often than not that backfires on you, because your bluster is not sincere and not based on any true achievement or talent; it's just ego, and it always rings false. In my eyes, it's important to be sincere no matter where you stand on the publishing ladder, at the bottom or at the top.


Is it pretending to be more than you are, or truly thinking you're more than you are?

janetbellinger
12-23-2006, 10:54 PM
To me, if a person felt pleased with her book, it would be acknowledging they had done a good job on it and that would not be humble. I don't think a person has to be humble in order to avoid being a braggart. There is an inbetween, where a person is able to take credit due but does not brag about herself. A lot of people will treat others in the way that person presents herself. So, if she presents herself as ubnworthy, she will be treated that way. And I know that's not what you mean. We're using two different definitions of humility. Of course a person shouldn't brag, but is it wrong for her to take credit for a job well done?

And being humble does not mean you go around saying you're not so great or putting yourself down. It's more of an attitude; when I finsih a book, for instance, if I am pleased with it I am truly awed by the process by which it came to me; I feel it is a gift, a miracle, and I feel humbled by it ; I feel "I did not really do it."

If you pretend to be more than you are as a way of getting attention, on the other hand, more often than not that backfires on you, because your bluster is not sincere and not based on any true achievement or talent; it's just ego, and it always rings false. In my eyes, it's important to be sincere no matter where you stand on the publishing ladder, at the bottom or at the top.

If you are truly talented that will shine through and others will notice and respond to it.[/quote]

maestrowork
12-24-2006, 04:48 AM
If you are truly talented that will shine through and others will notice and respond to it.

A wise person once said to me, "Never be ashamed of your abilities."

It doesn't mean you have to put down others and make yourself seem better than everyone else. What it means is that you should be proud of who you are and what you accomplish.

My sig says it all.

janetbellinger
12-24-2006, 05:42 AM
That is what I was trying to say, too.


A wise person once said to me, "Never be ashamed of your abilities."

It doesn't mean you have to put down others and make yourself seem better than everyone else. What it means is that you should be proud of who you are and what you accomplish.

My sig says it all.

aruna
12-24-2006, 10:55 AM
A wise person once said to me, "Never be ashamed of your abilities."

It doesn't mean you have to put down others and make yourself seem better than everyone else. What it means is that you should be proud of who you are and what you accomplish.

My sig says it all.

A VERY wise person said to me: Your abilities are not your own. They are God's gift to you You did not create them; you do not know where they came from. Be a vessel through which they can flow. Let them shine through you, and give thanks to God. That is how they grow in a way you could never, ever have accomplish. That is the way of the true artist.

I do not agree with your sentence I have bolded. When I feel myself being proud of who I am and what ui accomplish I know I'm in the danger zone. When thag happens I actualy block creativity.

This of course is a subject and a thread all to itself: maybe it should be split off form this one!

aruna
12-24-2006, 11:13 AM
(A PS to my last post - of course,the word God is debatable. But both the "wise person" i mentioned and I believe that God is not some entitiy up in the sky, but lives inside us as our highest being.) So the word "Highest Self" can be substitued for "that" word here... the highest self being unkown to us, so that we cannot take credit for its gifts.

So you see, I do have my own very personal definition of humble and humility. For me there can be no true art without humility.

maestrowork
12-24-2006, 12:53 PM
We are dangerously close to religious territory. ;)

(and we are so hijacking this thread)

Anyway, everyone is different spiritually. I think your feelings and beliefs are very valid. I have my own beliefs -- to me, we are all "God" or pieces of "God" or image of "God" or however we want to call it. So to be proud of ourselves and our accomplishment is to be thankful. By "proud" I don't mean being obnoxious about it. There's a line between being proud and being egotistical and obnoxious.

Personally, I don't take credit for my gifts or things that are bestowed to me. At the very least, I thank my parents. I had nothing to do with my talent or intelligence or anything. What I do take credit for is how I strive to be a better person and how I try to use what I have to help others. I don't always succeed and there are times when I am extremely selfish because no one else would give me the time of day. And I'm not proud of that. I have still so much to learn about life. That's why I am not a "wise man" yet. A wise ass maybe. ;)

I think we can't really fake humility. We really have to feel it and know it. Everyone's definition is different. But I am not the one who believes that we should beat up on ourselves because there will be no light when we do. I also don't believe we should deliberately hide our lights. I do believe in letting our light shine through without us keep telling others how brilliant we are. We are brilliant because we just are, not because we say we are. I think my point is that there's nothing we can do about our light instead of embracing it and letting it shine, so others will see as well. And we benefit from other people's light, too. And the world will truly be a brighter place when we do.

I first heard of the quote in my sig from the movie Akeelah and the Bees and I thought it was a marvelous movie because I identify with the themes. You'll have to see it to know what I'm talking about. That story has oodles of humility to go around.

aruna
12-24-2006, 04:13 PM
I think we can't really fake humility. We really have to feel it and know it. Everyone's definition is different. But I am not the one who believes that we should beat up on ourselves because there will be no light when we do. I also don't believe we should deliberately hide our lights. I do believe in letting our light shine through without us keep telling others how brilliant we are. We are brilliant because we just are, not because we say we are. I think my point is that there's nothing we can do about our light instead of embracing it and letting it shine, so others will see as well. And we benefit from other people's light, too. And the world will truly be a brighter place when we do.

I first heard of the quote in my sig from the movie Akeelah and the Bees and I thought it was a marvelous movie because I identify with the themes. You'll have to see it to know what I'm talking about. That story has oodles of humility to go around.

Yes, that is similar how I feel about it. Humility is for me a very positive quality, something that goes along with letting your light shine THROUGH you.

The inspiration for my book The Speech of Angels actually came form my gretest inspiration regarding creativity. I had a friend, a Japanese woman called Yoriko. She was a vioinist in my first husband's orchestra (he was a cellist). Yoriko had played violin form the age of 4 and was incredibly gifted - a child prodigy. And yet she always struggled with hter art. The more she tried to play brilliantly, the more she was dissatisfied with what came out.

And then she learned the secret - simply to let go and let the music flow through her. The way she descibed t was that in trying to be brilliant (which in her casemeant being a viriuoso violinist), her ego got in the way. It was only when she stepped back and let the music flow through her instead of from her that she learned to produce the most beautiful music. Another mistake she made was using music to become great, instead of giving herself to music, losing herself in it. It's that losing oneself in art which I believe is the secret of all great artists, no matter what the discipline.

I'm reminded of Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet: your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. They come through you, but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you....

Substitute music, writing, art, dance for children and it's the same....

Yoriko was killed in a horrible car crash at the age of 32. That was many years now but she has remained an inspiration to me (her photo is on my wall), and when it came my turn to write I remembered her words, took them to heart, and found that she was right. The more I step back and allow my story to tell itself, the more it is infused with that elsuive factor X. The story writes itself. I can't explain it; and I did not make it.My job is to work hard, to get up at 4 a.m. if need be to write, to revise and revise and keep at it till the work is as perfect as I can get it.

These are the dynamics that give me my understanding of humility.

Yoriko was one of the humblest people I've ever met; but her music was sublime and everyone who heard it was simply blown away by it. I believe that truly great artists are always humble - whether famous or not. Fame has nothing to do with it.

The weird thingis: she had a very valuable violin, which she left to her best friend, another Japanese violinist named Yukiko. One week after Yoriko died, Yukiko was also killed in a car crash.There was a radio programme in their honour, which I stil listen to sometimes.

janetbellinger
12-24-2006, 06:50 PM
I seem to remember a Sunday School song we sung as children about not hiding your light under a bushel but letting it shine.
I believe God wants us to take pride in what we do. This is not boastful pride but a quiet satisfaction that yes, I did that well. I don't believe we can be love others unless we first love ourselves, and that includes loving our work. Remember, I am not talking about egotism, but simple pride.


nsong
(A PS to my last post - of course,the word God is debatable. But both the "wise person" i mentioned and I believe that God is not some entitiy up in the sky, but lives inside us as our highest being.) So the word "Highest Self" can be substitued for "that" word here... the highest self being unkown to us, so that we cannot take credit for its gifts.

So you see, I do have my own very personal definition of humble and humility. For me there can be no true art without humility.

aruna
12-25-2006, 10:53 AM
Oh dear! I do NOT like humility to be pitched against self-confidence! I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. For me it is humility vs pride.

Self-confidence it not the same as pride.
Humility is not the same as lack of self-deprecation.

aruna
12-25-2006, 11:04 AM
I seem to remember a Sunday School song we sung as children about not hiding your light under a bushel but letting it shine.
I believe God wants us to take pride in what we do. This is not boastful pride but a quiet satisfaction that yes, I did that well. I don't believe we can be love others unless we first love ourselves, and that includes loving our work. Remember, I am not talking about egotism, but simple pride.


nsong

You can't speak for anyone else, Janet. I think each of us needs to find out for her/himslef what "God wants". For me, it is not pride. In my understanding, and experience, pride goes before a fall - always. It is humility - the knowledge that I cannot create, I am helpless within myself, that makes me receptive for the best, most powerful stories. And I am not even permitted to be proud that I am humble!;)
And humility does not mean hiding your light under a bushel. I donl;t know where that idea came from. You can let your light shine: what I guard against in myslef is saying "It's mine! I made it! I did it! 'Ray me!"

I do think we have a different definion of pride; the "simple satisfaction" that you mention I would not label pride; I call it profound gratitude, which is always humble.

On the other hand, we also have a different defintiion of bragging, I found Jeff's behaviour on this forum to be extremely "bragatorious"; you did not.

aruna
12-25-2006, 11:14 AM
I seem to remember a Sunday School song we sung as children about not hiding your light under a bushel but letting it shine.
I believe God wants us to take pride in what we do. This is not boastful pride but a quiet satisfaction that yes, I did that well. I don't believe we can be love others unless we first love ourselves, and that includes loving our work. Remember, I am not talking about egotism, but simple pride.


nsong

See, there we have it. For me, pride is always ego.

As for loving oneself - it's a very fine line, and I find it a bit of a cliche, simuilar to the cliche "believe in yourself".

Love is indeed the greatest power; Love is the creator. But I can't say I love my litte "me-ness", which is rather small and paltry and needs to disappear into Love, and certainly is not the creator of my novels!

But we are going into very metaphysical territory here, which I my home terrain, but it's not appropriate for this board.

All I can say is that writing is a voyage of self-discovery, and it's a perfect joy to find out what works for me - and what doesn't. Pride definitely doesn;t.

Cathy C
12-25-2006, 06:07 PM
Now see, I guess I'm different. I find "humility" in an author to be somewhat distressing. It implies no effort on his/her part. Authors WORK when they write. Those who strive to improve better their talent. I've worked my fuzzy little tail off to learn how to write. Yes, some of it comes naturally--I seem to be savant in using pretty decent grammar, even if I don't always know WHY it works, or what the elements of the grammar are called.

Pride IS self-confidence to me. I've worked hard and I've reaped the benefits. I earned it. Since I don't get original ideas that magically appear from the blue like so many authors, I have to struggle to come up with worlds and characters and plots. It sometimes takes me WEEKS to create a cast of characters. They don't appear in my head fully formed. They're carefully plotted on paper. Self-confidence helps with my struggle. I've done it, so I can do it again. To say that "something flows through me" is to throw a soping wet blanket on my roaring blaze of confidence. Nothing flows through me. There's no muse to feel and give rein. Humility would take away the pride in my fight and the hours spent reading the Chicago Manual of Style, and poring over a thesaurus.

Sorry, just can't do it. If it's ego to say I've created a damned good book, I'll just have to bear that label. :Shrug:

aruna
12-25-2006, 06:26 PM
:) I knew I'd get some flak for sticking up for humility!

Just to make this clear: I am not a lazy writer, I get up at 4 am each and every day when I am writing a novel - because there is no time during the day - and put everything I have into it - everything. Blood, sweat and tears. When my agent tells me to revise, I do it right away, as often as she wants, so that she has called me "amazing" three times in the last few weeks, for my quick and thorough revisions.

But this is just the way I write. I feel that thes story is there, fully formed by my subconscious; all I have to do is discover it. And that voyage of dicovery is so wonderful, thirlling, exciting; and what I find there so throroughly fullfilling, that I cannot take the credit for it. It is beyond me.

This attititude comes from decades of immersion in Asian perception, which in many ways is the diametrical opposite of Western conventional wisdom. You will often find there that artists work anonymously, or at least did, traditionally. They feel that they are simply a vessel for their art. I know it does not correspond with the Western way of thinking; but please do not call humility lazy - or any other names - because it is certainly not! Working this way demands of me my very, very best. And I give my very, very best.

I am simply presenting another way of working creativly. And as I said, it works for me - very well indeed. All as a result of Janet saying that a writer cannot be humble. I disagree - for the above reasons. There are many ways of approacihing creative work - mine is one of them. I learnt this approach from Yoriko, a musical genius. It worked for her too.

Cathy C
12-25-2006, 06:55 PM
I feel that the story is there, fully formed by my subconscious; all I have to do is discover it.

You're very fortunate. I wish I had that option. :)

Pat~
12-25-2006, 07:02 PM
I've heard it said before that humility is 'seeing ourselves the way God sees us.' In otherwords, an truly honest appraisal of ourselves and our abilities--and one which most people fall short of. We either disparage ourselves in the attempt to appear humble (which is pride), or we behave arrogantly in the name of self-expression and self-confidence.

Of course, I'm straying into 'religious' territory here, but personally I think you can't talk of humility without referring to the standard. And for me, that standard is Christ. He didn't go around depreciating Himself verbally, but He did say the truth. He said that He could do nothing unless it came from the Father; at the same time He says to us "Apart from Me you can do nothing." I think humility comes as we embrace that truth.

Toothpaste
12-25-2006, 10:52 PM
I'm not so sure we are disagreeing with each other here. I think no one is saying that you ought to hide your light from the world. Pride in your own work, isn't the problem. What I do believe is that just because you accomplish something amazing, it doesn't make you more special than those who you think haven't. Because chances are they too have accomplished something else, that is just as incredible, just in a different way.

Tiger
12-25-2006, 10:58 PM
If you pretend to be more than you are as a way of getting attention, on the other hand, more often than not that backfires on you, because your bluster is not sincere and not based on any true achievement or talent; it's just ego, and it always rings false.

I agree. Bluster and chronic self-promotion can be signs of serious low self-esteem.

Tiger
12-25-2006, 11:18 PM
This attititude comes from decades of immersion in Asian perception, which in many ways is the diametrical opposite of Western conventional wisdom. You will often find there that artists work anonymously, or at least did, traditionally.

I'm glad you added the "at least did, traditionally" part in your post, because some of the most pretentious people I've known have been Japanese.

I still would disagree with you on your idea of "Asian perception" and how it differs from that of others' with regard to pride vs. humility. Most cultures place value on humbleness--even ours. Look at how self-effacing all of our comic book superheroes are in their everyday guises. You don't get much more humble than Peter Parker.

Also, status is enormously important in Japanese society and always has been. My blood still boils when I recall professors at my university in Japan shouting across the library at each other--that "quiet, this is a library"-thing was only for regular people.

maestrowork
12-25-2006, 11:24 PM
I guess we all have different understanding and interpretations of words. For me, "pride" doesn't necessarily mean "ego" or "braggart." It doesn't mean snobbishness or condescension. However, how others perceive you is a different matter. Some people will dislike you simply by an announcement of "I did this." Getting a book published, having a baby, getting promoted at work. There's nothing you can do to control what other people think of you. What you can control is how you think of yourself.

There's a line between being self-confident, embracing your own light and being a braggart. There's a balance.

It's funny, Sharon, that you mentioned Asian culture. I was raised to "never brag, never told anyone about your great deeds and wonderfulness, and always be humble." I think there's absolute virtue in humbleness, and that we don't need other's approval or praises to be the light.

But I think the Chinese, for example, having been suppressed for so long and being subjected this philosophy, have become too withdrawn and repressive. Especially in that culture, it seems to me that the idea is not that everyone is the same, but that someone (be it an Emperor, a head of state, Chairman Mao) are the supreme being and everyone should be and are just ordinary. That's exactly how one man can control a billion. That kind of thinking has been ingrained in the Chinese culture for over 5000 years. There's certainly a class system, even if it's not explicitly defined: That one is only born special and divine; the rest is merely regular no matter what you do, and you can only rise above if someone above you allows it (e.g. many great men were only great because they were lifted by the Emperor).

As a very young, modern Chinese, I was totally confused by this feeling that I could do more.

I have struggled with this for a long time; while growing up, I yearned for my parents' praises, to let me know that I'd done something good, that I had pleased them. For someone like me, who believed that, from a young age, that he was a bit different, it was very difficult to "conform" and just be like everyone else. We don't encourage individualism. Duties and social obligations are more important. We believe in hard work but until someone else tells us "good job" we're just ordinary -- nothing, even. There's nothing special about us. Our light is all about being a good person and conform to the society and do our duties: be a good parent, be a good son, be a good worker.

As I grew up, and after I came to the US, I realized how psychologically and spiritually limiting that is. To feel that you're always less than who you are, that there's always someone bigger, better, and that you're only a small part of something, and that you're no different than everyone else. I find that philosophy suffocating and oppressive. It's not to say it's wrong and I'm right. But like you said, each of us should find our own ways, and what works for us. Clearly the Asian philosophy did not work for me.

Again, some people may see me as a braggart and an egotist. I can't really change other's perception. What I can change, however, is how I perceive myself and I how I always try to be better and be true to myself. That, I think, is what I'd call "pride." Not just be thankful, but be glad and proud of who we are and not let anyone else tell us otherwise. That is the meaning of "pride" to me.

janetbellinger
12-25-2006, 11:26 PM
I still don't see what is wrong with having pride in a job well done. Pride does not mean the same thing as being boastful of feeling superior. Pride is just giving yourself a pat on the shoulder or accepting one quietly from another person. It is not bragging.

wr
Oh dear! I do NOT like humility to be pitched against self-confidence! I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. For me it is humility vs pride.

Self-confidence it not the same as pride.
Humility is not the same as lack of self-deprecation.

maestrowork
12-25-2006, 11:46 PM
As children, we were taught to say "that's nothing; I didn't do much; I could do better" whenever someone told us what a good job we did. After a while, you really do believe that you're never going to be good enough. If I got a 97 instead of 100, I would be so shamed. You can only feel good about yourself if you are the best.

I remember watching Joy Luck Club and laughed my ass off during the scene where the mother brought out her best dish but instead said, "This is horrible." But the daughter's Caucasian boyfriend didn't understand and said, "It's not bad at all; all you need is some soy sauce." It's funny because it's true.

rugcat
12-26-2006, 12:10 AM
As children, we were taught to say "that's nothing; I didn't do much; I could do better" whenever someone told us what a good job we did. These days, maybe in reaction to those days, it's all about boosting self esteem.

Children are extravagantly praised not only for their efforts, but also for their accomplishments - even if those accomplishments are less than successful, to put it kindly. It's well intentioned - nobody wants to crush a child's ego, but it has resulted in a generation somewhat lacking in critical ability, who smugly believe everything they do is superlative and beyond reproach.

Not all of them, of course. Some of my best friends are youngsters.

Unique
12-26-2006, 12:24 AM
When you use vs. it implies one or the other but not both. But humility and self-confidence are not mutually exclusive.

Arrogant is one antonym of humble or having humility. I ask, can you not have self-confidence without being arrogant? Not everyone does, but it is possible.

The antonyms of self-confident are: diffident, humble, insecure, meek, unself-confident, unsure.

I propose, therefore, that it is the degree of one's self-confidence and the attitude that one displays to others that makes one either humble or arrogant. You can be confident in your own abilities without being arrogant. So it seems reasonable to me that one can be both self-confident and humble at the same time.

Chasing the Horizon
12-26-2006, 12:44 AM
I don't think there is anything whatsoever wrong with taking pride in your accomplishments and knowing you are good at what you do. The closest I come to humility is in my belief that nothing I do will ever be good enough. That's because I will only be satisfied with complete perfection, which is, of course, unattainable. This does not mean I don't take a great deal of pride in my accomplishments, particularly when I accomplish something I didn't think I could. What it means is that I never stop trying to improve at any skill I care about. Anyone who believes they are so good that they no longer need to keep improving should be hit over the head with a two by four.

The credit for my writing goes to the person who sits up all night typing until their hands hurt. That person is me. God can have credit for my work when he sits his holy butt down in this chair and rewrites my first three chapters for me. Of course, this way I get all the blame when something sucks, but that's only fair.

I am one of the writers lucky enough to be able to sit down and just let the words flow. I don't have to struggle to create characters and ideas. In fact, I currently have ideas for almost 25 novels. I need to write faster so I can get to a few more of them. Just because I have a natural ability for creative writing doesn't make my work any less 'me' than a writer who has to work at thinking up ideas and characters. Where do you think all the ideas come from? An alien thought beam aimed at my head? (I'm not saying my writing is any better than a writer who works harder. In fact, the way the ideas flow tends to leave me with a bit of chaos on the page and editing most certainly does not come naturally to me.) Regardless of which part of my brain the ideas come from (conscious, unconscious, warped, etc.) they are still my ideas.

So, yeah, I'm proud but never satisfied.

janetbellinger
12-26-2006, 01:10 AM
The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines pride as "a feeling of elation or satisfaction at achievements or qualities or possessions etc that do one credit. Pride has to do with a feeling. It is up to the individual what they do with the feeling. For me pride is a very quiet, personal thing that does not involve bragging. If I finish editing a piece of work, I will feel pride that I stuck with it long enough to finish it. I might tell somebody close to me that I finished it and am proud of myself. Is that so wrong? It's not bragging, it's just sharing your life and concerns with people you care for. I am not talking about bragging. I hate that. What do you mean when you speak of pride? Perhaps we are talking about two different things.


Is it pretending to be more than you are, or truly thinking you're more than you are?

scarletpeaches
12-26-2006, 01:29 AM
Humility in its original form means to lower oneself - to consider others as higher than you. Not to your own detriment, of course, but to consider their needs before your own. Pride would be to take satisfaction in your own achievements. I see no conflict between the two, if you value other people as much as you do your own comfort. Humility doesn't bleach out your own personality; rather, it takes into account those of others. Modesty, also, in its original form, means simply to recognise one's own limitations. I don't see any conflict in someone cultivating all three qualities.

janetbellinger
12-26-2006, 02:06 AM
Me neither. It goes without saying you should also consider other people. Most of the time, I have to struggle to allow myself to feel any sense of pride. Like so many other women of my generation (1950s) I was raised to be modest, not to blow my own horn. Humility comes naturally. We were raised, when somebody praised a new outfit, to say, "It's old," or "I got it at the nearly new store." Humility was beat into us right from the word go. My mother used to criticise people who had t heir children perform for guests, saying she was showing off. We were strictly cautioned against showing off, so now we have to train ourselves to let ourselves feel a modest pride at our accomplishments. I'm not going to say anything more on the subject except to say I think we all agree boasting is bad and so is thinking we are better than somebody else. I think we all agree it's okay to allow ourselves to feel happy in a job we've done well, whether it be writing, or another occupation. I call that pride. Some people might call it something else.

Tiger
12-26-2006, 02:38 AM
We don't encourage individualism. Duties and social obligations are more important. We believe in hard work but until someone else tells us "good job" we're just ordinary -- nothing, even. There's nothing special about us. Our light is all about being a good person and conform to the society and do our duties: be a good parent, be a good son, be a good worker.

This really hit home for me.

It is interesting how things work for many people in Japan. One of the things I noticed was that the only "good" way to stand out is by doing well in something "normal." If you want to excel in martial arts, you do it by copying Sensei's form to perfection; in school, you attain high scores on standardized tests. Even in something like fashion, you own the very best of what's popular.

"Deru kugi ga uttareru ("the nail that sticks out gets struck")"

Rolling Thunder
12-26-2006, 03:19 AM
I'm jut gonna lob my opinion in here in as short a manner as possible;

Pride, tempered with humility, yields self confidence.

tenpenynail
12-26-2006, 04:07 AM
This may be an example of semantics and many may be saying the same thing or at least similar idea.

Here's my 2 cents.

I think many of American ideas of humility and pride come from our
'puritan-founders' ideas or ideals. My idea is that there is pride, false-pride. humility, and false-humility. Each, pride and humility have the other, false side of the coin.

Pride==what is it? Should we have pride in ourselves, in our work, both or neither? "Pride goeth before fall"...is a Bible saying well known to most. My belief is that we "think of ourselves as no greater or no lesser, than the position in which we are." The desiderata says, "If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself."

So perhaps pride is okay as long as we truly know ourselves--[and this takes time and study]. Many of us think we know who we are, we have an 'idea' of who we are... And when someone comes along and threatens that idea we can bite back, feel threatened, retaliate. And that proves we don't truly know who we are. You probably have false-pride. Pride based on an outside validation system. Or pride based in a lack of it as a kid, so you are constantly trying to be the best--compared to others. If someone calls you a 'paper-box' you don't get angry. You probably laugh. Because you know you aren't a paper box. You truly know that--and you true knowledge of that can lead you to being both full of pride, real pride [not false pride] and humility. You don't respond to the taunt because you have pride in who you are. And since you truly know, you don't have to prove it to anyone else. And because you don't have to prove anything to anyone else you are also humble. Or so thinkith me.

The pride comes in truly knowing ourselves. It's not a mantra of "I'm the best darn writer on these boards." You can't mantra that into existence. You can't even ever truly know that because you can't know everyone on the boards. But you may have pride in the fact that you truly put your all into your writing, into improving it, into making it your best. Then you won't have false-pride which almost always leads to arrogance. And arrogance comes out as grandiose statements about self, or put-downs on others.

Humility. First there's false-humility. AWperson is insecure and doesn't think much of themselves--so when they are complimented, they demure, say "oh golligee, I'm not really." It's not humility, it's insecurity. A truly humble person would say "thanks," knowing it was that person's opinion of their writing and work out their doubts themselves. Say there is a writing contest and 5 folks join. One comes out superior, 3 average, 1 under average. The winner would be exhibiting 'false humility' if he said, "No, I'm not really a good writer." But with humility he could say, "Thanks and in THIS contest, I did come out number one. But it's only one contest and in others I may have faired differently." That's just a fact. For any of the contestants to wrongly interpret or present their level in the contest would be the definition for either false-pride or false-humility.

And here's the God test for me. If anyone thinks they are just perfect, so giving, so loving, wise, and understanding==much more than most people==then sit yourself before your Creator==the ALL-LOVING-ONE--and you'll know you were full of false-pride and you still have work to do [and don't we always?]

Likewise, anyone who thinks they are just despicable, terrible, ugly, horrible, much lower than anyone else==sit yourself before your Creator==the ALL-LOVING-ONE--and you'll know that if the Creator loves you, you are lovable...even though false humility [or even false pride, taking pride in being so miserable...I've seen this] tells you otherwise.

So our job is to truly know ourselves. Journey within. It's a full=time job. It's so worth it. So sayith me.

Sorry for being LOOOOOOOOOONG winded. But I had something to say!



:flag:

maestrowork
12-26-2006, 07:48 AM
I do believe that pride (of oneself) and humility are not mutually exclusive. They both stem from love: love yourself and love others. You can't really go wrong with love...

PeeDee
12-26-2006, 08:18 AM
All you need is love. (do doo doo do do) All you need is LOVE! love. Love. Love is all you need.

I think that as with all things, it's important to have some perspective and then you'll do fine. I have enough self-confidence in myself to know that I can probably tell the story I want to tell, and I can do a good job of it. I have enough humility (and perspective) to know that there's a huge swath of writers (and indeed, human beings) who are going to be able to do it better, smarter, nicer.

I think it's important to do the very best you can, just like mom said, and just not presume yourself and importance beyond that until you've earned it. Heck, even then. Being self-depreciating (that can't be how you spell that) is more fun anyway.

tenpenynail
12-26-2006, 08:21 AM
Hear! Hear! Well put. Agreed


I do believe that pride (of oneself) and humility are not mutually exclusive. They both stem from love: love yourself and love others. You can't really go wrong with love... :Hug2:

scarletpeaches
12-26-2006, 08:22 AM
I have enough self-confidence in myself

ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!

I have phoned the Tautology Police and they are sending Dan Brown round with some grammarcuffs to tie and bind you and take you to the prison jail.

PeeDee
12-26-2006, 08:26 AM
So I says to myself, I says, "Self, doesn't she mean "jackass Dan Brown" to be in keeping with her theme pattern?"

aruna
12-26-2006, 11:10 AM
So our job is to truly know ourselves. Journey within. It's a full=time job. It's so worth it. So sayith me.

Sorry for being LOOOOOOOOOONG winded. But I had something to say!



:flag:



Thanks; that, in a nutshell, is what I wanted to say.

I discern - in myself - a big difference between self-confidence and pride.
Self-confidence comes when I have given myself to a project and know that it is good; as good as it can ever be in my hands, for my level of ability. It speaks for itself; it gives me deep satisfaction, and I feel gratitude.

Returning to Yoriko: it is when she gives herself to her playing; she disappears into it, there is no Yoriko left, and the most sublime music comes from her violin, music that moves its listeners to tears. It's magic, almost divine! The music is coming through her.

Pride is when a little "I", or ego, stands up and says: I did it. I made it, This is MY music.
That little "I" grabs that magic moment and takes it for itself. That is the moment Yoriko guarded against, and, following her example, so do I. When I see that happening I give my little ego ten lashes with the cat-o-nine-tails and make it bow its head!

That is why I am so very watchful, and why it sounds as if I'm nit-picking,

I am very wary of using my writing to build my ego; because I know that would be the end. My "I" would get in the way, obstruct the free flow of storytelling. Rather I have to give myself to the writing, lose myself in it; that way it will grow and become deeper and even more fulfilling. That is my secret.

For the same reason, I do not take success and failure at face value. Success may help develop confidence, but it also can lead to arrogance - we see it everyday in celebrities - and that is the fall. Failure - and I've just had three or four excrutiaiting years of failure - crush the ego. It throws you to the ground. But that is exactly the moment when your very BEST work can be born. Failuire is actually very good, as it makes you truly humble. You realise that "I of myself can do nothing"; and you ask for help, and help comes.

Those of you who have spoken of false-humility - Maestro and Tiger and tenpennynail - I know exactly what you are speaking of. I too grew up under a debilitating sense of worthlessness; which had to do with growing up dark-skinned in a colony where only white-skinned people were of any value.

The danger for someone like me is to seek success and achievement to over-compensate for that gutting feeling of "being nobody". And I believe that for many with a similar sense of insecurity and lowliness, that is exactly what happens. They use their achievement in order to become somebody.

Luckily for me, my writing career only began after several decades of working on myself spiritually, so that I already had found my basic sense of self-worth before I started writing. I didn't need success or the sense of achievement to compensate. But I have to continue to be extremely wary, as it's a slippery slope, and I fell once very hard. Self-worth has to stand by itself, without any attributes, withour any outer success or applause or even achievement to be genuine. It can then become nourishment for truly excellent work.

aruna
12-26-2006, 11:48 AM
I'm glad you added the "at least did, traditionally" part in your post, because some of the most pretentious people I've known have been Japanese.

.

Oh yes, I'm awatre of this! I was really referring to the traditions of wisdom, - Zen, in Japanese culture, the Tao in Chinese, Vedanta in Indian and so on. Humility there is not so much self-abasement (I think this definition is the cause of the misunderstanding on this thread) as the stepping back of the ego to allow a higher, purer, truer self to shine.

tenpenynail
12-26-2006, 08:31 PM
Yes, that's how I see it too. We are on the same page with this. Thanks




:snoopy:

janetbellinger
12-26-2006, 08:40 PM
The only Japanese people I know, and admittedly it is only one family, are very humble about themselves, even though they are well educated, well travelled and very talented.

inanna
12-26-2006, 09:31 PM
apologies in advance for my Essay of the Day:

I can definitely relate to those moments aruna describes of getting out of the way of the creative process and sort of "transcribing" the story, but, hopeless agnostic that I am, I've found a way to rationalize at least partial credit for it :D

For me, those moments of Flow (and the Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi book by the same name covers this phenomena in great detail) are when I'm able to relax and focus enough to allow my subconscious to run the show for a while. I'm absolutely thrilled everytime it happens, taking form in a three-dimensional, lightning-flash illumination, one that is always the perfect piece of the puzzle I was looking for. I didn't consciously think up the words or the ideas - they just surface as if they were always there and I simply hadn't noticed them yet - but still, I know that my actions up to that point have helped the moment come into being.

I just believe it's an input-output sort of thing; that if I feed my head with research, images, stories, questions and prompts, that my subconsious will take all those pieces and make them into something whole. Then my job is to just relax and have a little faith in the process, keep writing kind of zen-like through those "walls" that come up and tell me to stop, give the deeper stuff a chance to be accessed.

Some attribute this to God or a higher power. I'm inclined to acknowledge a kind of Jungian-flavored collective unconscious to it, but mostly I see it as a cooperative process of the mind (or Mind, if you want to get mystical about it). So when I put a lot of effort into something and am rewarded later with one of those "aha!" moments, I'll take credit for being the impetus, at least. I feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction - pride, I suppose - and I don't have a problem with that. I worked hard, consciously and unconsciously.

That pride (and it is a loaded word, so I think we are arguing different definitions of it) I guess translates into a self-confidence. I know I'm good at storytelling; it would be a lie to say I didn't feel that way. But I also know that even if I'm better than some, I am certainly not as good as others. I'm happy to compete against myself and achieve a personal best. I'm pretty sure that last one's not a lie :tongue


And now, I'm going to do a word count and take it over to the "What Did You Write Today?" thread .... :o

aruna
12-26-2006, 09:46 PM
Some attribute this to God or a higher power. I'm inclined to acknowledge a kind of Jungian-flavored collective unconscious to it, but mostly I see it as a cooperative process of the mind (or Mind, if you want to get mystical about it). So when I put a lot of effort into something and am rewarded later with one of those "aha!" moments, I'll take credit for being the impetus, at least. I feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction - pride, I suppose - and I don't have a problem with that. I worked hard, consciously and unconsciously.



yes, that's how I see it - I can actually do BOTH, see it as a higher poswr at work, and as a process of my own subconscious.

I think that we are indeed only arguing diferent definitions. For some, the workd humility has a very negative conotationwhich it doesn;t for me, whereas for me it;s that way with the word pride. Once we get past those definitions I do think we all agree!

What I am wary of is priode getting away with me. In 2004 I was invited by a women's group to take part in a Festival of Cinema and Literature in Guadelope, in the Caribbean, all expenses paid. It had to do with celebrating the arrival of Indians in Guadeloupe about 100 years ago. Among the invited speakers was a semi-famous Indian novelist, whose prise-winning book I had read and loved. I was very excited about meeting her.
The sponsors put us up in a three star hotel in the town centre of Pointe a Pitre; I'd obviously have preferred a comfortabe beachfront hotel, but i was just glad to be in the Caribbean in the middle of winter - and it was a very interesting four days on the island. Now, when this semi=famous writer arrived and saw the hotel she almost flipped out, She called it a "dump" (it wasn't) and made a scene about the accomodation - she was used to better, she had been here and there, been put up in 5 star hotels, etc. It was very embarassing for out hostess, who explained that the group did not have much money. And Miss Semi-famous went on and on about "then they should not have invited authors of her calibre" etc. Finally she moved out and paid the difference ot her five star beachfront hotel herself.
The rest of us had a brillant time together, and int he last day our hiostess took su on a fantastic tour around the island. Miss Semi-famous was ot invited.
Personally, I would prefer to remain unrecognised, than to become semi-famous and get too big for my boots.
Meanwhile, Miss Semi-famous has sunk into obscurity, though I just checked and saw that she had a new novel out in September.

Celia Cyanide
12-26-2006, 11:06 PM
Is it pretending to be more than you are, or truly thinking you're more than you are?

Great question.

I have to say that people who are horrible self-promoters, and constantly brag about things that are hardly braggable, are usually the last to congratulate others on a genuine accomplishment. If these people really did believe they were as important as they keep telling everyone they are, I think they would be secure enough to show others some appreciation, rather than always expecting to be the center of attention.

blacbird
12-26-2006, 11:45 PM
It's harder to have self-confidence when your work sucks.

caw

janetbellinger
12-26-2006, 11:52 PM
I definitely agree Mrs. Semi Famous was out of line. She has an overly inflated ego, a fasle sense of her own importance. This type of behavior is never justified, no matter how important a person gets to be. In fact, this woman does not have a true sense of her own strengths and limitations, otherwise she'd have been gracious. The way I look at it, nobody is more worthy than somebody else, but they are not less worhty, either.

Tiger
12-26-2006, 11:53 PM
Oh yes, I'm awatre of this! I was really referring to the traditions of wisdom, - Zen, in Japanese culture, the Tao in Chinese, Vedanta in Indian and so on. Humility there is not so much self-abasement (I think this definition is the cause of the misunderstanding on this thread) as the stepping back of the ego to allow a higher, purer, truer self to shine.

Oh, I know you understand this... Having seen your postings on other threads, I know that your movement across cultures is nothing if not respectful. I should clarify too, that I do not speak from a "Japanese" perspective. I'm four generations worth of American citizen.

Tiger
12-26-2006, 11:58 PM
Great question.

I have to say that people who are horrible self-promoters, and constantly brag about things that are hardly braggable, are usually the last to congratulate others on a genuine accomplishment. If these people really did believe they were as important as they keep telling everyone they are, I think they would be secure enough to show others some appreciation, rather than always expecting to be the center of attention.

I agree with this. I'd even go a step further and say that self-promoting and self-agrandizing people also tend to be jealous and quick to criticize... It's kind of like they look at everyone elses' success as a strike against them; or others' failures as a point for them.

maestrowork
12-27-2006, 12:53 AM
I have to say that people who are horrible self-promoters, and constantly brag about things that are hardly braggable, are usually the last to congratulate others on a genuine accomplishment. If these people really did believe they were as important as they keep telling everyone they are, I think they would be secure enough to show others some appreciation, rather than always expecting to be the center of attention.

The other side of the "pretending to be who you are not..." coin is that you're pretending to be LESS than who you are. I guess that's what we called false humility. The example I gave with Joy Luck Club: "This is my worst dish" when in fact the mother wanted everyone to praise her.

I think we're all pretty much saying the same thing but with slightly different filters. We all need to be happy and comfortable with who we are and not present ourselves falsely. If I like what I do, I am not going to come up to someone and say, "Oh, the book is not very good. I am ashamed of it." I am also not going to say, "My book is the best thing since the Bible." It is what it is.

Celia Cyanide
12-27-2006, 03:00 AM
I agree with this. I'd even go a step further and say that self-promoting and self-agrandizing people also tend to be jealous and quick to criticize... It's kind of like they look at everyone elses' success as a strike against them; or others' failures as a point for them.

Indeed!

I definitely think that some people take news of other's success as a strike against them. It makes me wonder if all the bragging is really a passive/aggressive way of insulting others, because they think it will hurt. Thankfully, I'm not that insecure.

Ray, I agree about false humility. When someone does something impressive, and tries to pass it off like it was nothing, it's just as pretentious. It comes off more like, "I'm so awesome that I don't even have to try! ha!" :)

blacbird
12-27-2006, 11:01 AM
I definitely think that some people take news of other's success as a strike against them. It makes me wonder if all the bragging is really a passive/aggressive way of insulting others, because they think it will hurt. Thankfully, I'm not that insecure.

Ray, I agree about false humility. When someone does something impressive, and tries to pass it off like it was nothing, it's just as pretentious. It comes off more like, "I'm so awesome that I don't even have to try! ha!" :)

I guess I'm destined never to be familiar with either of these conditions.

caw

Tiger
12-27-2006, 11:44 AM
When someone does something impressive, and tries to pass it off like it was nothing, it's just as pretentious. It comes off more like, "I'm so awesome that I don't even have to try! ha!" :)

Shucks, ma'am... Twern't nuthin' really.

Sean D. Schaffer
12-27-2006, 07:47 PM
I had a major problem as a child differentiating between pride and self-confidence. Part of the reason for this is I would look at my King James Bible and see things that say 'God hates pride', and I would equate the pride in the Bible with pride in our modern day language.

It took me a long time to realize that the King James Bible was written four hundred years ago, and the language reflects that.

The point I'm making is, I think there's a difference between egotistical pride (I'm great, I'm perfect, I did everything in life myself, etc.) and the kind of pride most people where I live talk about.

Taking pride in your work, to me, is doing the best you can with what you have, and acknowledging you did your best. It's not putting yourself in the place of 'Look at me, I'm wonderful' so much as it's telling yourself, 'I did my very best'.

Also humility (and this is only my opinion) is a bit overdone in some people's cases. They'll put themselves down and say 'Oh, I didn't do anything; I just wrote a book, big deal', and expect that people are going to appreciate that. I used to do that myself, and I find that it is very disheartening to treat myself in such a manner. I still try to be as humble as possible in most things, but at the same time, I try to remember that I should give myself some credit for doing the best I can with what talent and skill I do have. Whether my talent or skill came from G-d, is irrelevent to the fact that I have taken what G-d has given me and done the best I can do with it.

Giving yourself credit for what you do with what G-d has given you, is IMO a good thing. Telling yourself that you gave yourself the talent, well, that's different.

Fun thread. Good discussion.

:)

greglondon
12-27-2006, 08:14 PM
I do life coaching, and these are my definitions of a number of terms, as they pertain to coaching someone through a rough spot in their life or coaching them to be more than they thought they could be. A lot of my coaching is directing the client to a place where they're in command of their own power, accomplishing what they want to accomplish, so this stuff comes up a lot in the subtexts of coaching sessions.

The original question was about the difference between self-confidence and humility.

Self confidence put most simply is the lack of doubt in your abilities. It requires some sense of self worth. (Self worth meaning that you have some self-generated feelings of your intrinsic value without needing external confirmation that you are worth something.) But self confidence goes beyond self worth and includes a sense of sense of faith in your ability to accomplish things, to overcome adversity. You believe you can get through your day. You believe you can finish your novel. You believe you can go to work, do your job, put food on the table and a roof over your head. You might even take on things you don't know how you're going to do, but you know you will not stop until you finish it.

Humility comes into coaching in recognizing where your limits of self-confidence are. You realize that your self confidence has limits. You can get through your day, you can overcome adversities thrown at you, but you know you have physical limits. There are only so many hours in a day, so you must choose what you are going to attempt to accomplish.

But the word "humility" is far too emotionally charged for me to ever use it in a coaching session. It's also too vague to communicate anything really specific. The point of coaching is to get clients to accomplish whatever it is they want to accomplish, not simply make them feel good.

My own opinion about human nature and language is that our language is somewhat disempowering. "humility" is so overloaded with guilt-based connotations that it is pretty much useless to me as a coach. The term "pride" is too. The word "should" can be misused as well.

So, a lot of what I do when coaching is pick out someone's language, listen for the words they're using that disempowering them, clarify the language for them using less ambiguous terms, and direct them to what it is they want to accomplish. The exact same words can communicate wildly different emotions for different people, so a chunk of my job as a coach is to listen for the emotions, not just the words. It is impossible to coach over email or any purely text based medium. I have to be in person or on the phone with them.

Elektra
12-27-2006, 09:58 PM
I always thought this was interesting, and deals with the humility thing: in Japan, students are taught to purposely screw up their own name when they write it, so as to basically show that they themselves aren't as good as everything else around them. That, to me, is the line between humility and self-deprecation. Self-deprecation is saying you're worse than everyone else. Humility is saying you're not better. And I've no issues with pride. If a kid were to get straight A's in school, they should be proud of themselves, and hurry home to show their parents and get praise. However, if they were to take a blow-up of their report card to school the next day, pin it on the front door, and stand outside bragging, that's going above pride in your achievement--it's egotism.

johnzakour
12-28-2006, 12:26 AM
Wow, this thread has become far too heavy for my simple brain.

I think it was Ali who said, "It ain't braggin if you can do it."

It's a statement that works when you're Ali, one of the most recognized people in the world at the time he made that statement.

It's a statement that doesn't hold much water when you haven't quite built up the accomplishments. Which is the reason why I believe this entire thread started.

Tiger
12-28-2006, 01:26 AM
It occurs to me that there is much to be said about the way in which one chooses to share his feelings about himself with others. Perhaps, self satisfaction becomes something else when it's brought to someone else's attention.

Celia Cyanide
12-28-2006, 02:28 AM
I think it was Ali who said, "It ain't braggin if you can do it."

It's a statement that works when you're Ali, one of the most recognized people in the world at the time he made that statement.

Not only was he well recognized, but the things he could do were impressive. I think it should also be considered bragging when you do something that you know regular people do all the time, but pretend it's something special. ;)

There's nothing wrong with taking pride in everything you do, even the easy stuff. But I think it gets to a point at which you are downplaying everyone else's abilities.

aruna
12-28-2006, 09:55 AM
Not only was he well recognized, but the things he could do were impressive. I think it should also be considered bragging when you do something that you know regular people do all the time, but pretend it's something special. ;)

There's nothing wrong with taking pride in everything you do, even the easy stuff. But I think it gets to a point at which you are downplaying everyone else's abilities.

By coincidence, I ran into ALi back in 1973 and ended up spending a day with him. He could brag for hours on end - but the thing is, he made it so hilarious you just didn't mind! I never laughed so much in my whole life! He was just lovable and warm and you even got the feeling he was humble deep inside. Especially when he took me to the window of his top-floor luxury suite in Lima, flung his arm over the rooftops, and told me: "Every woman in this whole damn city would give everything they have to sleep with The Greatest, and YOU WON'T! :)

And then a poor woman sent a message up to him that she and her five chikdren were going hungry, and he sent down $100 for her.

So yes, it IS the tone. Somebody else could say something that doesn't sound at all like bragging, and yet there's something slimy to the words and you know it IS bragging. And he could brag as much as he liked, and in the most blatant language, but it never once came off as obnoxious.

blacbird
12-28-2006, 10:50 AM
When you grow up in a Scandinavian Lutheran heritage, it's important to realize that you're guilty of everything, even stuff you don't know about. Boastfulness is the sin-that-shall-not-be-named.

Damn. I just named it. Now I have to go abase myself.

caw

Tiger
12-28-2006, 11:59 AM
When you grow up in a Scandinavian Lutheran heritage, it's important to realize that you're guilty of everything, even stuff you don't know about. Boastfulness is the sin-that-shall-not-be-named.

Damn. I just named it. Now I have to go abase myself.

caw

Don't forget; you also said "damn." If you ask me, you Scandinavians should feel guilty about being taller than us Asians...

johnzakour
12-28-2006, 03:16 PM
By coincidence, I ran into ALi back in 1973 and ended up spending a day with him. He could brag for hours on end - but the thing is, he made it so hilarious you just didn't mind! I never laughed so much in my whole life! He was just lovable and warm and you even got the feeling he was humble deep inside. Especially when he took me to the window of his top-floor luxury suite in Lima, flung his arm over the rooftops, and told me: "Every woman in this whole damn city would give everything they have to sleep with The Greatest, and YOU WON'T! :)


Oh man, I am so jealous. (About the hanging out part...) What a mind to pick.

Ali, was / is a very talented person so in a way even when he was boasting it still seemed okay because he wasn't exaggerating his abilities. Which is why it worked for him. When he said he was "The Greatest" not many could argue that at the time he was.

(Though back them I would argue that Bruce Lee, Andre the Giant and I could take on any three people in the world. My logic being Bruce and Andre alone could probably take on four people.... ;-) )

aruna
12-28-2006, 06:13 PM
The thing about Ali is - it didn't MATTER that he was the greatest. It did not raoise him above other people; and THAT I think is the problem with pride - that it can lead to self aggrandizement. Ali remained a man of the people. He picked three ordinary people out of the public - two Peruvians and me. We were his "secretary", his "translator" and his "girlfriend" (me!) for the day and he and just gave us all a wonderful day. He took us with him to the Gold Museum, invited us to lunch, to his fight in the evening, and kept us entertained between times.
The whole day he had ordinary people visit him - once, a group of American crewmen whose ship happened to be doacking in Lima, and who simply called to see if they could get an autograph, He called them up and joked withthem for an hour. He railed and ranted about the rich people we went to visit, because their living room was full of stuffed animals (whole bears, elephants, giraffes, the works.) He stayed who he is. He did not behave as if her were "The Gretest". Being "The Greatest" referred only to himself as boxer - to his profession.
Often you get the feeling with celebrities that the y think that now THEY are great.

maestrowork
12-28-2006, 07:11 PM
Another person (to me anyway) who had every right to brag but always appeared humble and well-intentioned: Audrey Hepburn. She won an Oscar right out of the gate, for crying out loud, but she rarely went around saying, "Look at me, I am great!" She turned her celebrity into charity, and it wasn't done to the tone of "me me me." That's very commendable, I think. She was a grand example of pride (in her work and family) and humility.

maestrowork
12-28-2006, 07:14 PM
The thing about Ali is - it didn't MATTER that he was the greatest. It did not raise him above other people; and THAT I think is the problem with pride - that it can lead to self aggrandizement. Ali remained a man of the people.

That's what I've been saying though, that being proud doesn't mean you're "above others." And even if pride CAN lead to self-aggrandizement, they're not the same. Just as "self-deprecation" and "low self-esteem" are not the same thing even though one can lead to the other. Surely, Ali is a proud man. He's proud of achievement. He brags. But from your description it seems like he doesn't think he's above everyone else. So by your example, you have proven to me that there's really nothing wrong with pride itself. We think he's the greatest; it doesn't matter to him whether he's the greatest. I think that's the key.

blacbird
12-28-2006, 09:37 PM
Don't forget; you also said "damn." If you ask me, you Scandinavians should feel guilty about being taller than us Asians...

Hairier, too. Of course, that helps at -40 degrees, where it doesn't matter which temperature scale you use.

I feel guilty about that, too.

caw

Bubastes
12-29-2006, 12:58 AM
This is an interesting thread! I wish I had something to add, but I don't. I would love to have your thoughts on an observation I've made IRL, though:

In my line of work, I deal with a lot of "idea people" that tell me "I've got a great idea. It will make millions!" (and its cousin "How will I know you won't steal it?") I hear this several times a week, so I'm pretty immune to it.

But I often wonder how on earth people can actually say "I have this awesome idea!" or "I think my story will be a bestseller!" with a straight face. I think I'm a decent writer (at least good enough to be paid a little money for it), but I can't ever say "hey, my story is great!" without laughing. I feel that my job is to write the best stories I possibly can. Let others decide whether or not they're "great." I don't feel like it's my place to judge my own work. So how do others manage so much self-confidence (or arrogance?) to say stuff like this?

tenpenynail
12-29-2006, 02:34 AM
Phew, this has gotten deep. Again, I think many of us are using different words for the same things.

For me there's--

Pride--has to do with acknowledging and respecting who you are and what you can do, without any outside confirmation or approval.. "Yes, thank you, I worked hard on that book. [outside confirmation is okay--as long as your don't 'need' it to make you confident.]

False-pride: is claiming that you are more than you believe you are, or that you know more than you believe you know. This pride nearly always requires outside confirmation or approval to cover up an inner feeling of inadequacy.[again outside confirmation is okay--it's only false-pride when you can't feel any SELF-respect without it. "Yeah, I'm pretty much THE authority on the sexual life of ants now."

Humility:is acknowledging and respecting who you are and what you can do, without any outside confirmation or approval. "Thank you, I did worked hard on the book.' 'Being' humble also means you have a pretty good sense of humor about yourself, know your faults and are working on them. A priest once said "Humility is Truth."

False-humility: is claiming you are less than you believe you are, and that you can do less than you believe you can. This nearly person always requires outside approval [confirmation] to cover up an inner feeling of arrogance.

aruna
12-29-2006, 12:10 PM
Another person (to me anyway) who had every right to brag but always appeared humble and well-intentioned: Audrey Hepburn. She won an Oscar right out of the gate, for crying out loud, but she rarely went around saying, "Look at me, I am great!" She turned her celebrity into charity, and it wasn't done to the tone of "me me me." That's very commendable, I think. She was a grand example of pride (in her work and family) and humility.

I LOVE Audrey Hepburn. Now there's a star with class! Yes, she's exactly what I mean with humility; though in her case, the word I would use to go along with it is self-confidence, not pride (because pride cannot be seen from the outside, by others, whereas self-confidence can!):)

I know I'm terribly nit-picking Sorry.

maestrowork
12-29-2006, 12:40 PM
I see there's a certain stubornness in you, Sharon. ;) refusing to equate pride in one self and work to self-confidence. Oh well. :) But you know we're saying the same thing, just using different words. Jane Austen would have agreed with you.

aruna
12-29-2006, 02:25 PM
I see there's a certain stubornness in you, Sharon. ;) refusing to equate pride in one self and work to self-confidence.

I can't help it, Ray. It is forbidden me...;)