Humility: Modesty and I are closely related. We go hand in hand, like great friends. I’m sure, as you begin to journal more, these similarities will show themselves. And I might even comment from time to time.
Modesty. This is the new characteristic for this week, as mentioned yesterday. In last week’s journal, I mentioned modesty a bit, but simply in passing. Now that I begin to ponder it more, they are indeed heavily related, but modesty seems to imply a more physical aspect. Modesty at this point seems to me to be a way of travel, of thought, of action. Humility is more a focus, a direction. Modesty is a way that we can express our humility in the physical world. However, it also extends beyond humility. I can be humble, and achieve many great things while not boasting about them and still be progressing in life, but be absolutely immodest about many things.
What can I be modest about then? Well, I can be modest in speech, in food, in drink, in pleasure, in work, in spirit, in rank, in social class, and the list goes on. Therefore, it seems modesty also acts as a modifier to the physical world.
Modesty curbs excessiveness. Modesty curbs deprivation. Modesty is a sort of middle ground. It requires control of our mind and of our actions. It is difficult to achieve. Modesty means that I am mindful of myself and my situation and that I can make the proper decisions with that mindfulness. Being on guard against indulgences. Being grateful for simple things. Enjoying life. I think these are things that come as a result of the mindfulness modesty forces one to develop.
Humility and modesty show up together in various ways. In order to be humble, I believe it is important to be modest in speech, to listen to others. Yet, it is also related in the deeper sense of being on guard against pride for accomplishments. If we say someone is being modest, it means they are sort of being humble. They are not letting accomplishments get to them, but they don’t let failures get to them either. Instead, they focus on the forwardness of life, and of improvement.
So, modesty as so far shown itself to me in two ways: that of action, and that of thought. There is modesty as a means of travel towards a destination, and also a way of thought that lies in a place similar to that of humility.
With this in mind, I will more thoroughly begin my attempt to embody modesty and come back tomorrow with insights.