Against Humility ~ BitterSweetLife

Friday, November 04, 2005

Against Humility

A Small Step Toward It

Will my friendship with humility transcend mere flirtation?

Humility is a demanding and awful taskmaster. It persists in cutting me down to size, and I can't say I really enjoy the process. In fact, I've devoted considerable energy to avoiding situations where humility could really corner me...and I feel, paradoxically, that admitting this fact may help me get closer to what humility really is.

The reasons anyone would choose to proactively pursue humility remain elusive. In fact, I can't think of any, except those modeled by Christ - that is, divine blessing, intimacy with God, refreshing transparency, the ability to really learn and grow,
eternal life, etc. Beyond these perks, humility makes no sense. Which is what this poem is essentially about.


Against Humility

I picked up the dog-eared volume again,
the one I've thumbed through and like to skim,

and boldface in the preface is "Humility and sin."

My book says the payouts for the humble are high,
and I guess I can see why.

People would eye me with that shine in their smiles
because I'm the modest type of guy
and why not?
I'm not one to push, I don't cut in lines,
my put-downs are all in good taste.
I won't tell you off to your face.

"Humility" is what I call it.

It's a little like running in place,

but the results you can get with the placebo effect
are enough to take to the races.
And it gets even better; there's no money down;
I can still take my pride to the bank.
Inside, I can still be swank; I cogitate with a swagger,

and this is a saving grace,
because pride and I have a history,
you could say we rent our own place.
Be it intellectual, physical, or flat-out empirical
I know that I'm better than you
and I'll maintain it against all odds.
I suspect it's the right thing to do
and I stand on my principles.

Somewhere around paragraph two,

the book says I could live with the truth
but I prefer to keep pushing myself
and I'm a little afraid, so I keep aloof
from the cost that the truth might demand.
If I put on this humble attire
I think I'll be scantily clad.
Or, what would be just as bad,
I might feel the wind through the holes.
The books says fresh air could redeem me

but I fear it would blow me away.

Humility has a pleasing ring, I think
it's a promising tactic,
but the side effects seem so steep.
Maybe after I've had some sleep,

and some more thought, I'll be ok.
But for now, I'll shelve the book,

and put the humble pie away.
I have so much to digest,
and I've already swallowed my pills for today.


Blogger Limelight

A related post: In Search of Smallness

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Sherry said...

)K I tried to put your little "limelight" button on my post to link back here, but I obviously did something wrong with the html. Sorry. Anyway, I wrote my profoundly humble thoughts on the matter. I like the poem.

Ariel said...

I need to make the button easier to use, and I will, next time a Limelight discussion occurs... Or maybe I should "invent" a discussion for testing purposes?

Feel free to go ahead and leave a link to your post, Sherry. I've really enjoyed the "humility" thoughts given so far.

J said...

I'm ordinarily not much of a poetry reader, but I enjoyed this poem. Maybe it's because I can identify all too easily. Thanks for sharing. :-)

Emineminemily said...

First of all, I think the poem's great and it really does convey how humility is such an extraordinary thing to attain because of our inward tendencies to self-esteem. I can definitely identify with it...although now that I think of it maybe humility comes when God opens up your eyes to a truthful image of yourself. I think that for many of us, our approach to humility is what prevents us from achieving it. And yeah, meanwhile we try to elude humiliating situations.
I hope I'm not rambling.
Anyways, I also wanted to add that I think you have amazingly keen insight.
Your blogs are just incredible, I don't know how else to say it. I love it!

Ariel said...

Thanks for the thoughts, j and girl. You're very kind.

I like this:

I think of it maybe humility comes when God opens up your eyes to a truthful image of yourself.

If we were more in touch with reality, humility would not be a would be like breathing or eating - or other things we "do" without thinking because we're human. Good point, girl!


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife