And then there’s humility, that favorite state of mind in sage circuits and spiritual circles. Humility, the moral and honorable way to be. Humility, the loser’s excuse, spoken in the wake of defeat so as to rationalize said defeat.
Humility, the stamp of a broken spirit, spoken in the wake of loss, designed to make the loss bearable. The oldest disguise in the world. The ancient hollow mask. ‘Welcome, we seek nothing from you other than the pleasure of being in your company and enjoying what is readily available. We are modest. We are legion.’
That kind of humility.
The deceit is smooth, appealing, fooling people very easily. It has a certain je ne sais quoi to it, a certain ring to it, great timbre and pitch, cultural value. It reflects depth of mind and strength of character, or so they say.
The truth is that humility, at least the one they sell in Sunday sermons, in weekly therapy sessions, in school, at home, at the $1000 life-enhancing seminars and in support groups around the world — that kind of humility has nothing to do with the humbleness of a canny victor. It has absolutely nothing to do with the temperance of a fiery cause or the checks and balances designed to keep the able on course and the coursing stable.
You know what I’m talking about . . . the mechanisms designed to temper hubris with discretion, they have nothing to do with the humility I’m trashing.
The humility I’m trashing is indiscrete, pretentious and unwise, tending only to those with something to gain from turning people into acquiescent sheep. It’s an ostentatious defeatism designed to convince everyone that the only way to live is to live in perpetual check, straitjacketing anyone daring to aspire beyond his or her immediate reach.
The biggest loser from this sad state of affairs is humanity at large. The inability to breach one’s boundaries and the unwillingness to seek out an outrageous future are the glass ceiling of the new Homo Sapiens. The readiness to be content with less in the name of being modest and down-to-earth is evolutionary lobotomy.
Call it the liability that renders an entire species a cul-de-sac-in-the-making.
Intrigued? Watch this space for more.
From the collection of writings EON: THE ANGRY COMING OF AGE