The illustration is from Charles Dickens’ novel where Durdles cautions Mr. Sapsea against boasting.
And here is my promo video of shameless self promotion, created by the ever so fab Erika Shannon.
When I grew up, we would laugh at what we called “Polish reichtag” – whomever screams the loudest wins. Racist and stereotypical, I don’t even know how much it ever applied to the Polish. What I do know is I feel we are about to exit the era of “shameless self promotion”. There really was a time, starting in the nineties and ending about now, when you had to be so loud, so brash and brazen, so shamelessly self promoting, that it WAS the way to get business. Today, not so much. Thank God.
Mr Chen Yu-Hsi, a professor of religious studies says that although humility is important to (in his case) Buddhism, ultimately spiritual attainments are associated with such personal qualities as the “middle way,” a balanced personality that is neither arrogant nor “humble” in the sense of self-abasement. Thus a semantic question may be raised as to exactly what we mean by humility. Does it necessarily imply an under-evaluation of one’s own worth and merits that led the Tibetan lama to reject humility as a virtue for practitioners? From a true Buddhist perspective, the answer is “No.” And we may add the following criteria to define genuine humility:
- Behave without arrogance, self-conceit and other egoist tendencies such as jealousy and an impulse to show off.
- Respect others and show a genuine human interest in them without a desire to please or to impress.
- Come up with an objective and honest understanding of our own strengths and weaknesses, with a realization that we are far from perfect and have a lot more to learn, to improve and to accomplish.
- While we do not recognize self-depreciation or self-effacement as part of humility, we must recognize that our biological self is fraught with frailties and ignorance and that a true self characterized by such divine qualities as love, compassion, joy and wisdom is innate in everyone of us.
With the above understanding, it is safe for Buddhists to speak of humility as a norm of personal conduct and a mark of supreme attainments that is consistent with the Buddhist “middle way.”
I think the Buddhists way is a pretty decent way to look at humility whether you are a Buddhist or not. I think the biggest thing about it is to be genuine in your interactions. If you are, I think you can be free to talk about your accomplishments or be proud of what you do. I am. Humbly speaking.