Saturday, July 21, 2018

Put Your Modesty Where Your Mouth Is

by Caryn L. Fitzgibbon (writer), Los Angeles, August 15, 2006

Opening a discourse on any topic with a definition of the topic straight out of the Merriam-Webster’s has become trite in our day and age. This is not disputed. And yet I must continue. Merriam-Websters defines bragging as “to talk boastfully” or to “engage in self-glorification”. This is also not disputed. And while it is natural to have a sort of self-pride in one’s accomplishments and abilities it is quite another to make sure that every human being who crosses one’s path receives an hour-long oration on one’s glorious achievments in spite of our so discommoding and troublesome existence. I’m okay. You’re okay. We’re all okay.

It has recently come to my attention that not only does bragging make one look quite pitiful, it also undermines the very things that one has indeed accomplished, making the entire undertaking ironic and pointless. This the braggart will, by his very nature, never quite grasp. Hence our eternal frustration. And do not erronously assume that bragging can take only one shape, form or intensity.

There is simple bragging, encountered by us more humble folk on an almost daily basis. Because of it’s garden-variety familiarty it is probably of the most harmless and tolerable kind. These are the tellings of facts and figures about one’s life and person that are imparted with a slight relish and are intended to impress upon the listener a kind of respect and admiration for the teller. We smile and nod.

Then there is bragging of the most insidious and destructive kind. This type of bragging can cause many injuries to any and all who participate. In this type of bragging the boaster bends the actual circumstance and event to a more awe-inspiring degree, misleading those who hear it into believing that this particular nugget of un-truth is and was actually the way described. This is harmful first and foremost, of course, to the arrogant prevaricator who by constantly misleading his friends and loved ones also undermines his own existence and experience, making it almost impossible for himself to ever be redeemed. Not only do his friends and family learn never to trust a word out of his mouth, but they will never appreciate the actual and truly noteworthy deserving of real admiration.

By constantly making the mundane miraculous and the common-place extraordinary in an attempt to gain prestige, the braggart of this latter type does not leave room in his life or soul for the actual miraculous and extraordinary. This must be recognized as extremely self-destructive to both the psyche and the life-force if one believes in such things. Imagine a life without such opportunity for communion with the eternal and humbling events in the life of the human-being, for if and when they will ooccur, all those other more ficticious accounts will have weakened its power to humble and inspire awe for both the braggart and his audience.

About the Writer

Caryn L. Fitzgibbon is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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