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April 27, 2014, 12:51:34 AM
I like this value. Sometimes I get caught up in who I think I am, and that becomes a surrogate to real action. People then poke fun at my faults, and in my better moments I realize that I should be focused on my goals instead of worrying about the preservation of a mental image. I used to think that this was a betrayal of a passage by the author Friedrich Nietzsche, which I admire...

"It seems as if they were all intended to express an exalted happiness, an Olympian cloudlessness, and, as it were, a playing with seriousness. The man who is guided by concepts and abstractions only succeeds by such means in warding off misfortune, without ever gaining any happiness for himself from these abstractions. And while he aims for the greatest possible freedom from pain, the intuitive man, standing in the midst of a culture, already reaps from his intuition a harvest of continually inflowing illumination, cheer, and redemption-in addition to obtaining a defense against misfortune. To be sure, he suffers more intensely, when he suffers; he even suffers more frequently, since he does not understand how to learn from experience and keeps falling over and over again into the same ditch. He is then just as irrational in sorrow as he is in happiness: he cries aloud and will not be consoled. How differently the stoical man who learns from experience and governs himself by concepts is affected by the same misfortunes!

This man, who at other times seeks nothing but sincerity, truth, freedom from deception, and protection against ensnaring surprise attacks, now executes a masterpiece of deception: he executes his masterpiece of deception in misfortune, as the other type of man executes his in times of happiness. He wears no quivering and changeable human face, but, as it were, a mask with dignified, symmetrical features. He does not cry; he does not even alter his voice. When a real storm cloud thunders above him, he wraps himself in his cloak, and with slow steps he walks from beneath it."

But I've realized that, by having my delusions destroyed, I've been made capable of experiencing honest emotion like what is described above. In the midst of untamed wilderness there's nothing that thinks you're good or bad, only your actions and the responses they engender.

Re: Humility
April 27, 2014, 07:35:19 AM
Good post. Humility is something scarcely known to modern man.
The wilderness doesn't care who you are, or how you pose.
Unimpressed, it does all it can to kill you, and cares not for the outcome.
A child may become a man in such a place.
Or die trying.

Re: Humility
April 27, 2014, 11:54:53 AM
Humility is a good thing when it counteracts hubris, but like virtue, it has its limits.  An excess of humility can also lead to self deception.  It can lead oneself to undervalue his own abilities.

Re: Humility
April 27, 2014, 12:01:20 PM
If it can do that, it is not humility.
Humility is knowing oneself within the context of where one finds oneself.

It can look like pride and ego to those who do not know it.
It can also look like self-deprecation and underachieving, to the egotistical and prideful.
But to anyone who knows what it is, it is exactly what it is: knowledge, power, strength, and certainty, in the face of everything being forever beyond one's own will.