The rewards of modesty

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on

Modesty is the capacity to live a life void of positive attention, admiration, recognition, praises, and positive remarks from other people, without having or yielding to such cravings. It is the willingness to conceal one’s accomplishments and admirable qualities, because doing otherwise would be vain and conceited. Modesty is not the absence of personal development or self-improvement. Instead, it is the capacity to derive pride in them internally, without making anyone know about them. For example, modesty is getting a high score in your examination, and choosing not to announce it to everyone. It is getting a positive, delightful result on your IQ test, and the willingness not to share this result with (or the willingness not to make such obvious to) everyone. In other words, you are happy with the result, but you do not crave the attention or admiration of other people. It is also the willingness to give honour to whom honour is due, without necessarily downplaying one’s self-worth. 

Modesty is not the absence of self-dignity or self-respect. It is not a willingness to humiliate or degrade oneself. On the contrary, it is actually feeling great about yourself, without being condescending or disdainful towards other people. 

When you are modest, you want to be a better version of yourself. You strive to become the best version of yourself. You are happy with the progress you see. You find this experience particularly euphoric. But you are not willingness to trumpet these achievements or qualities. You are not willing to flaunt what you have on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. And while you may be a thousand times wealthier, more intelligent, wiser, more experienced, or better-looking than many celebrities or showoffs, you are disinclined to make these accomplishments or qualities obvious to other people. 

There is, of course, a disadvantage to being modest, but never morally wrong. While being modest, many people may not particularly find you alluring (since most people gravitate towards achievers and celebrities). However, an advantage is that you are able to separate the chaffs from the seeds. It helps you know who your true friends really are. And this will save you from potential disappointments, betrayals, and manipulations by opportunists. 

A modest person tends not to be the popular kid, but that’s where the beauty lies. Such a kid may have qualities and achievements superior to those of other popular kids, yet he/she has an inner satisfaction in keeping quiet about them, because he/she has come to be emotionally independent and self-respecting. Only insecure people go about bragging about what they have. Modest people are therefore healthier and more secure than their counterparts. 

Furthermore, when people accidentally discover the qualities and achievements of a modest person, this will definitely fetch a lot of respect and admiration for such person for not only having such mammoth accomplishments, but also for having the courage to be modest about them.  

And lastly, no one expects a lot from a modest person, because no one (except closed ones) think highly of them. This enables them to be unapologetically themselves. They can share about their flaws, speak about their struggles, and be honest about their failings, even though these will alienate most people. But there’s no good being around people who cannot accept you with your scars and imperfections. And the very few people who will admire you will respect you for your authenticity, honesty, humility, and bravery. Modesty is therefore ‘the’ reflection of ‘true beauty’.