Goodness is Always Modest

G.K. Chesterton was once asked what he thought of George Bernard Shaw, said he, "I have a high opinion of George Bernard Shaw, but I do not have a high opinion of George Bernard Shaw's high opinion of George Bernard Shaw."

"Bragging is poor business," writes columnist John R. Gunn, "it never serves to enhance anybody's opinion of you. Suppose you do possess merit. You can't make people appreciate you more by telling them about it."

Someone speaks of the modesty of high goodness - high goodness is always modest, it is never boastful and never makes a vain show of itself. It never clammors for public recognition - it doesn't need to, it's like a rose. A rose does not need to advertise itself; it has a self revealing fragrance and beauty, which makes its presence known.

"The sufficiency of my merit is to know that my merit is not sufficient," said St. Augustine. The man who feels that his merit is not sufficient and who feels that he is least deserving of praise is the man who most deserves it.

You may deserve praise, but let another do the job; likely another will if you keep quiet. But sing an anthem of self-praise and you will sing alone. The song of self-praise is always sung as a solo and although the soloist may enjoy it, nobody else does.