The Doctrine of Humbleness

by Joseph De Temmerman

Haughtiness is undoubtedly the origin of the worst evil. A person who magnifies his own significance humiliates others. That’s something we inherited from the animal world. The epitome of haughtiness, that is conceit can be seen with the turkey. The turkey, rooster raises his feathers on his body vertically. That gives him the appearances of a heavy beast, and he proudly raises his tail feathers fan shaped and keeps his ugly head pressed backwards.

He makes pompous, calculating steps. Which is still not enough; he also lets his wing feathers drag along the ground  for all to hear. A slight push to that curtain of feathers makes it obvious that this impressive creature is predominantly made up of packed air, the reflection of some people.

As a little child I was afraid of that beast. The ignorant are afraid of anything that seems bigger, more powerful than them, thus also a human spitting image of that beast. That kind of inflating techniques, one calls haughtiness. A humble man stands out when he lacks it. Nevertheless, this cannot be identifies with any sense of inferiority. A humble man does not deem it necessary to inflate his qualities. He is aware that he has them, without further do. Especially rich people seem sometimes short-sighted as parents are. Especially their children should be trained in hard working and humbleness. I will demonstrate the necessity by a true story.

As a technical adviser, I traveled through a big part are of my country. I went for a beer in a pub that belonged to one of my rich clients. Then a big rude building contractor arrived (a notorious fighter, which I didn’t know) who immediately started offending two boys next to me. I patted him on the shoulder and said “Wouldn’t you rather pick a fight with me?”. The man looked at me, he stood a head taller than me, and nodded laughing. We had barely left the pub when he found himself on the ground after a leg sweep followed by a choking grip (Judo), vainly gasping for air.

The son of my rich client (cum laude student at the University of Oxford) had witnessed this as well and immediately wanted me for his bodyguard. I had better plans for the future. Nevertheless, I was prepared to accompany him after my working hours. And now comes the “point” of this story. I got to know a rich man’s boy, very bright. That’s exactly how he came to think “why should I lift a finger, I am rich”. So he spent most of his time in the company of pretty girls and enjoyed life to the fullest. But he was not interested to use the many talents he possessed. He did not want to know what the bible says about wasted talents. He led a useless life. I think he reached only the age of 45 and his father’s business no longer exists. Rich people, still reading?

I decided for myself: my children will never be spoiled. Here I came to the same conclusion that other people have been taking for centuries: the youth should get an ascetic education to make them strong later.

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