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Saturday, June 19, 2010

In my (not so) humble opinion -take two-

HUMILITY - The quality or condition of being humble; imitate Jesus and Socrates. [Humility week begins here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]


Today I am doing a repeat post. I have decided to re-post something from a prior Humility week for a couple of reasons. First, and probably the real reason of the hour, is that I just spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME on a formatting error (still not fixed either - ready to quit blogger at the moment... but the learning curve of something else.... ack!) over on my other blog and it has totally sucked the energy out of me. Even more then this however, I have been thinking that I have a lot of stuff in my archives now and it might be interesting to do a "Flashback Post" once in a while.... to see what I was thinking about in earlier versions of the virtue weeks. Have my observations changed? Have I grown or am I in the same place as before? Many of you weren't around when I began this project so an old post may very well be NEW to you anyway...  in any case I hope you enjoy!

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humility is the most difficult of all virtues to achieve;
nothing dies harder than the desire to think well of self.

Funny how each of my virtue weeks pose different sorts of conundrums. Last week Moxie seemed to be demanding a very aggressive (thanks Jingle) approach and this week Humility seems to cry out for the complete opposite. Aggressive Moxie sounds like a ton fun but aggressive Humility sounds downright blasphemous. You can never have too much Joy or Creativity but once Humility gets over used somehow it starts to feel cheap. 

Take as an example the phrase "In my humble opinion."  I don't know about you but whenever I hear it I am immediately on guard for an inflated ego. Don't you just love how it usually precedes a statement that is far from humble? As the urban dictionary compares it, much like "no offense" precedes an offensive comment, "in my humble opinion" usually indicates ana**hole comment is forthcoming.

Years ago, I had a boyfriend who seemed to think that by putting this declaration in front of anything he said it somehow made him look smarter and/or more qualified to comment. "In my humble opinion, that is never the way to go..." It used to drive me crazy. I told him it didn't add anything and mostly just put people on guard for hearing what foolish blow hard thing was going to come out of his mouth. O.K. I didn't quite say it that way when we were dating... if only I had the chance now! He really did think he was an expert on everything! LOL

Anyway, I digress...

I do realize that this phrase has become so common it often is a "throw away" in the context of any dialog (or now texting conversations, IMHO) but I think it should just be dropped from the vernacular all together. How can we actually be serious about being humble if we bandy the word about in this total disrespectful fashion? Even if your intent is not to become humble I think rampant misuse of a word denigrates its meaning.

I know that our English language is a living language and change is expected over time but Humble is a nice word. It has been around since the mid thirteenth century (from Etymonline: O.Fr. humble, earlier humele, from L. humilis "lowly, humble," lit. "on the ground," from humus "earth.") In my anything but humble opinion it should be allowed to stay pure and lowly and if we take a gentle, rather then aggressive approach, I just might have a chance at grasping it!

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And for a little bit of Whimsy (because whimsy week is still a way off and I miss it) go to
 Urban Dictionary and type in your first name. I think you will find it enjoyable as I did:
Kathy is a word to explain one amazing person.the shiz net of all friends. One of the most beautiful and gorgeous people. also one of the kindest.

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Have you used "In my Humble Opinion" in jest and/or reality?

Next post: Humility week wrap up

My 13 bliss virtues are 
joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, 
romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, and surprise.



This week we are studying Humility. Next week it is Surprise.

3 comments:

  1. It was new to me Kathy & I enjoyed it...I just had someone pull the "no offense" preface to their remark & I stopped them & said - if you have to say "no offense" you might want to reconsider saying whatever follows! (and of course they didn't & put their foot in their mouth) Your blog looks different - I like it!
    Dawn

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haha! I haven't heard anyone use the phrase "in my humble opinion" in quite some time. I can see where people might assume that the user would actually be the opposite of humble! LOL
    Urban Dictionary was fun...here's mine:
    A cute, smart, talented girl. She's really cool and can find humour in almost anything. Everyone likes her. She has a beautiful smile and pretty eyes
    Theresa is too cool for school

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am new to your blog...came by way of the LB-Tea Party. I am your newest follower and I must say, I absolutely loved and so appreciated this post!!! Look forward to getting to know you.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you "very so much" (the construct I stole from my 3 year old!) for your comments! I reply to every comment. I will ALWAYS reply over here on the blog so if you haven't heard from directly please do check back here. If you become a Disqus member you will be automatically updated via email as well!

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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Benjamin Franklin Quotes

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