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Sat Feb 4, 2017, 07:36 PM

Calling Yourself Humbled Doesnt Sound as Humble as It Used To

In which, among other things, Lincoln's humility is affirmed, yet another Kellyanne Conjob allegation is disputed, and a self-aggrandizing aspect of claiming "blessings" is revealed by the NY Time's wittily feisty Carina Chocano.

In the present-day vernacular, people are most humbled by the things that make them look good. They are humbled by the sublimity of their own achievements. The “humblebrag” — a boast couched in a self-deprecating comment — has migrated from subtext to text, leaving self-awareness passed out in the bathroom behind the potted plant.

Diving at random into the internet and social media finds this new humility everywhere. A soap-opera actress on tour is humbled by the outpouring of love from fans. Comedians are humbled by big laughs, yoga practitioners are humbled by achieving difficult poses, athletes are humbled by good days on the field, Christmas volunteers are humbled by their own generosity and holiday spirit.

And yet none of these people sound very “humbled” at all. On the contrary: They all seem exceedingly proud of themselves, hashtagging their humility to advertise their own status, success, sprightliness, generosity, moral superiority and luck.

When did humility get so cocky and vainglorious? I remember the first time, around 15 years ago, that I heard someone describe herself as “blessed.” An old friend of my boyfriend’s came to visit and spent the evening regaling us with stories of her many blessings. She wasn’t especially religious, which somehow made her choice of words worse. Every good thing in her life — friends, job, apartment, decent parking space — was a blessing: i.e., something deliberate, something thoughtfully picked out for her by a higher power. It took a while to put a finger on why it got on my nerves. The problem was that she couldn’t just let herself be lucky, because luck was random, meaningless, undeserved. Luck was a roll of the dice. She had to be chosen.

Printed recently in the NY Times magazine and available online here to subscribers and those who haven't exceeded their monthly free read (or clear their cookies).

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Reply Calling Yourself Humbled Doesnt Sound as Humble as It Used To (Original post)
Dark n Stormy Knight Feb 2017 OP
Lionel Mandrake Feb 2017 #1
Dark n Stormy Knight Feb 2017 #2

Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Original post)

Sat Feb 11, 2017, 04:36 PM

1. Sorry, couldn't resist.

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Response to Lionel Mandrake (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 12, 2017, 02:23 AM

2. Wow, an extra layer of self-congratulation thrown in--

he was ahead of his time.

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