Being modest means being grounded and humble. Think about someone you find very skilled, for example the top student in your martial arts class. Even though they are very talented, it would be improper for them to be unpleasant or boastful about their talents. You may not know why, but it naturally feels uncomfortable when you meet someone who is unkind or vain.
There is of course nothing wrong with being proud about your skills and talents, as they are likely hard earned traits you spent a lot of time working on, but there is a big difference between being proud and boastful. You may think to yourself, why is there such a big difference and why can’t you be a little boastful if you have earned that right. Well, there are many reasons why you should stay modest.
Valuing Your Peers
Think about something you are very skilled at. This might be martial arts, mathematics, football, playing a musical instrument, or something else. Just pause for a moment and think about the variety of talents out there. Some people are great artists while others are great scientists, and even more excel at a bunch of different things. How can you feel boastful about your unique talent when everyone has their own unique talent?
Each person has their talents and their shortcomings, but by being boastful you may express to others that you value your talent more than theirs. This can make your friends and peers feel like they are not valued or even that they don’t have any talents of their own. We all need time to learn about ourselves and understand where our talents are, so creating a healthy space where we can appreciate each other respectfully can help everyone to succeed in their own way.
Those who are modest appreciate their own talents, and those of their friends and peers too. This means they help others reach their potential and succeed too. If you are excellent in something, like martial arts, instead of boasting you should put your efforts into using your strength to help others.
Think about something you are not very good at, like a subject at school or a particular sport. Don’t you feel good when a talented person like your instructor or a senior helps you get better? This is a natural part of growing together as a community. If everyone stays modest and helps one another, instead of being unpleasantly competitive or boastful, then everyone can benefit and grow better.
What does it mean to be modest? As mentioned, it is great to be proud of your accomplishments. This is an expression of your happiness, and it’s always great to share your happiness with others. So, when does pride become boastful? You can usually tell the difference between the two with the intention you have. If you are showing your peers your accomplishment because you want them to feel upset that they aren’t as skilled as you, it is boastful. But if you are sharing your accomplishments to express your love of the topic and encourage them to do better, then you are both proud and modest!