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January 30, 2012


I disagree with this point of view. While it is often true that humble people have a strong sense of self-worth, it would be wrong to think that humility has anything to do with how we see ourselves. Humility is not about putting ourselves down, but neither is it about hiding our true strength, as Joe Louis appears to have done. The humble person recognizes that though he may be strong in one area, everyone he meets is better than him at something. The humble person praises people for their strengths and does not belittle them for their weaknesses.

Tim, I think you raise a good point about the humble person realizing that others have skills he doesn't. Dickson actually talks about this in his book, he calls it "expertise extrapolation." Man, have I felt that temptation! As a writer & knowledge generalist, the temptation is to believe I've become an expert on whatever I read a 1000-word article on. Anyway, back to Joe Louis.

I didn't see Louis as hiding his strength, but as holding himself back from using his power aggressively or violently, and making his dignity known in a peaceful way.

You could make a case that he was still effectively hiding his strength ... until he stood up and gave them his card. I'll admit I find that an impeccably classy move. But I can agree to disagree.

Thanks for sharing, Tim. People like you give this blog its lifeblood.

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