A subtler form of Hypocrisy
By Dolly Laxamana
With foreword by Lualhati Madlangawa Guererro
It's been a long time when yours truly has visited the archives of the University of the East to read some old issues of the DAWN if not reading certain writeups to serve as basis for future writeups. However, while browsing an old issue of the said campus paper, a writeup from a former Liberal Arts Student, issued last May 23, 1958 has brought attention and be reposted it.
Entitled "a subtler form of hypocrisy", it tackles about people whom are trying to be humble amist its own successes, but amongst them there are those whom making a said virtue exaggerated such as denying its own self the achievements also made by its own; humility is very far from self degradation or self pity no matter the latter two tries to interpret with. But instead to give thanks for anything they have passed, such as gifts and opportunities that knocks once or twice in their lives no matter how difficult it is.
But perhaps, most people think about humility, in its simple terms, is just submission, as in eating a humble pie after a defeat, but these people who are end submitted, eating humble pies are those who are once full of arrogance, foolishness guised as successes to take pride with; that artists, statespersons may have take pride in anything they achieved, but is their achievement means to justify forgetting its own humble origins? Perhaps few amongs them who succeed during their lifetimes also recognize their defeats, humble origins, and why they struggle; they did lead and follow, but they also acknowledge those who made such aspirations realise rather than assert arrogance or self-pitying themselves amidst its own contributions.
And Laxamana tries to differentiate a just humility than an exaggerated one that isn't humility at all. If Man is made in the image of God, is God himself had self-pitied its own? Anyways, here it is:
"Humility is no doubt is a very admirable trait. No one like an arrogant or concited person. But like all virtues, humility can be misinterpreted. This the virtue becomes hollow. It becomes false virtue.
Some persons, in their desire to be called humble, go to such unreasonable extremes that they make of themselves a nuisance instead. There are the person who, when told how becoming their dresses are, will dwell endlessly on how cheap it is and on how coarse the material is; when sincerely praised for their studiousmess, will tell how they often spend their time loafing, sleeping, etc. until you finally begin to wonder what in the world made them confess all these faults; when congratulated for their praiseworthy achievement, will indulge in a monotonous recital of how unworthy they feel about the achievement and so fourth.
Praise anything they have, like the car for instance, say how smoothly it runs and they will start with a protesting: "Oh no! Certainly not!" And before you know it they will give you every major and minor defect of the car, gratis et amore. Visit their home and you will be buried in an avalanche of half-hearted, insincere denials and protests and a litany of defects of that home; how the roof leaks when it rains, how dirty the walls are, etc.
To these persons, every expression of approval is empty flattery. Every honest but favourable opinion is worthless adultation. Thus they belittle every achievement they make, depreciate everything they have and even ridicule themselves if you praise what good things they have done, what they have or what outstanding characteristic they possess. These unreasonable things, they will do, just to be called 'humble'. Indeed it has come to the point when all that one has to do to discover the defects of anything is to praise it in the presence of its owner.
But this is not humility. Rather, this is a subtler form of hypocrisy. Humility is not the exceptional ability to belittle excessively one's achievements simply because another acknowledges them. It is not the talent for degrading oneself because another has credited you for something you possess. Moreover, humility is never shown by exaggerated and needless apologies for one's assets. Or better still, humility is never shown deliberately. Period. It can be seen without being shown.
If what one has is really worthy of praise, one meed not apologize for it; or if what one has done or achieved is truly deserving of commendation, he/she need nor belittle it; if one is brillant or talented or capable, he need not degrade himself for it because another has deemed it proper to praise him for it. This would be false humility,
Besides, to reject a sincere praise when one deserves such praise is to embarrass the one praising and to brand him a flatterer.
Humility is a virtue; but excessive humility is no longer humility. It is a subtler form of hypocrisy."