Intrigue, part 2

A lot of people seem to think that the way to be interesting is to say everything that comes to mind and make sure everyone knows an awful lot about you.

Telling all your secrets does not keep you from being shallow.

I’ve heard very personal details of people’s lives spoken into their cell phones quite loudly as they walked by. I’ve heard observations that should have remained unspoken proclaimed in casual conversation. I’ve learned far more than necessary about a person’s status, accomplishments, and popularity within a very short time of meeting them. I’ve never felt particularly intrigued by any of these people.

All of those situations show a lack of one important quality: modesty.

The concept of modesty involves much more than women dressing conservatively. It has far-reaching implications that affect every area of one’s life. Modesty is: 1) a moderate estimate of one’s own worth and importance, 2) purity of mind, 3) due regard for propriety in speech or action (adapted from Webster’s 1828/1913 dictionaries).

Modesty causes a person to use discretion about the nature of the words they say.

Modesty causes a person to think carefully about whether their actions are appropriate and uplifting to those who might be watching.

Modesty causes a person to value relationships more than the popularity those relationships might bring — or take away. (Why? Because modest people do not assume an entitlement to popularity. It does not necessarily mean they aren’t popular. They just don’t pretend to deserve it.)

Modesty causes a person to show genuine courtesy to all who encounter them, because modesty is the antithesis of pride.

From my point of view, modesty is intriguing because it shows that a person no longer relies on the affirmation of others to supply confidence. It fascinates because it does not TRY to fascinate. Modest people have no need to brag about their strengths or hide them, because they know their worth.

Perhaps it is a quality we could all use a bit more of.

“Modesty is just so hard to find …” — “Lovebug,” by Jonas Brothers


3 thoughts on “Intrigue, part 2

  1. Amen! That reminds me of Philippians 2:3 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

  2. If anything, telling everyone everything about you in an effort to be interesting is a sign of shallowness.

    I like your insight on modesty, Noelle. I don’t think I’ve ever seen modesty so closely equated with humility, but you did it beautifully.

    “Humility [modesty] is not thinking less of ourselves, but rather thinking of ourselves less.”
    – C.S. Lewis

    • Thank you! I believe that modesty is a demonstration of both self-respect*and * humility. It’s a very freeing attitude. Your C.S. Lewis quote seems to sum it up perfectly.

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