We are living in a time when humility is very hard to find. Who wants to be humble when you can be grandiose, arrogant, and self-satisfied? “I’m the greatest,” Ali used to say. He ended up with many people thinking so.
Not too many people think about virtues and vices these days. That’s too bad, as it would be useful for those ideas to get a bit more traction, particularly in the various media. The dictionary says that virtue is “behavior showing high moral standards” and that vice is “immoral or wicked behavior”. Hm. Does anyone understand that? Sometimes it seems like no one does.
What you can get away with. Perception. Surface. Appearance. Spin. Humility isn’t good for publicity purposes, you know? If you want to impress people, put a bit of spin (exaggeration) on whatever it is.
I know a woman who was invited to share a chapter in a book with two of her colleagues. When the book was published she posted on her Facebook page that she was the chapter’s author complete with a photo of the headline of her section of the chapter, with no mention of the other two authors (one of whom had invited her to write in the first place). Audacious? Indeed. It doesn’t stop her from going to church every Sunday. The “spin” on her being “the author”? Of no consequence (at least to her). Only someone who is incredibly insecure needs to do something like that. It’s just sad.
Humility isn’t concerned with looking good or covering your own behind. It isn’t interested in proving that you are the best ever. In fact, those who have to prove that through some outward demonstration are typically the ones who are at the bottom of the heap. They have little self-esteem.
The most successful artists are often the most self-effacing. Those that brag, boast and flaunt their own wares are pompous fools. There are always people, however, who are impressed with these same fools and who believe that the braggarts are what they claim to be. They take the external appearance to be the whole package. Sadly, millions of people in this country have been taken to the laundry by the person in the Oval office. Time will tell. If there were awards for bragging, he would win hands down.
I have never understood how people can be so easily fooled except to comprehend that they might do some version of the same thing in their own lives. I have never been drawn to anyone who was deeply invested in bragging. It has always been a clear and obvious ploy of someone who was, underneath, frightened, insecure and pitiful.
Perhaps you were not raised with any specific moral point of view. Perhaps you were not ever in an environment where virtues and vices were discussed or evaluated. Maybe no one told you that virtue is a good thing and vices are bad. In fact, maybe you were taught the exact opposite. You might want to evaluate the whole topic, as it could be illuminating to do so.
Singing teachers who are skilled and experienced do not need to claim, “My studio is the best one!!” “I have the only way to learn to sing!” “My approach is new and different and better than all the others!” “I am the best teacher and the only one who really understands the voice.” If ever you encounter such a person on the road, run away. RUN and don’t look back.