Tuesday, August 08, 2006


No, this isn't a post about how short one's shorts should be or if bathing suits are appropriate. You can figure that out for yourself. This post is about another nuance of modesty: humility, the quality of having or showing a moderate estimation of one's own talents, abilities, and value.

G.K. Chesterton has an amazing quote regarding this issue. It's hard to believe that he wrote this nearly 100 years ago, so apropos is its message to today's culture. Sadly, we are no longer on the road to producing the race of men to which he refers; we have already succeeded in producing it.
But what we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. . . .We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table. We are in danger of seeing philosophers who doubt the law of gravity as being a mere fancy of their own. Scoffers of old time were too proud to be convinced; but these are too humble to be convinced. The meek do inherit the earth; but the modern skeptics are too meek even to claim their inheritance. --Orthodoxy

May God have mercy on us and restore us to true and proper modesty!

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