oh poopy! - a maxCohen journal

Boastful

11 September 2020

Reading Benedict and the book of James repeatedly pounds into my head the dangers of boastfulness. That humility cannot include such a desire to be recognized for the deeds one does. It should not be for glory that a person does their work. It is certainly not my strength or will that accomplishes anything.

It can be frustrating not to be recognized for what you have done and just as frustrating not to be even heard in the first place. However, isn't that just pride? Who am I that makes me so great that I think I know the complete answer (see Dunning-Kruger). Moreover, who am I that thinks I should be heard in the first place?

That is not to say it is easy to be silent or humble. The temptation is still there. The frustration. The "Me" society pulls us into their destruction and I find myself trying to fight against it often, wrongly, alone.

There are two examples that have recently helped me. The first person is "Dee". He did many first-of-the-kind things in his life and was stabbed in the back. That ruined his vision of making the world a better place. He was humble, even after that experience, and continued on teaching people about his ideas and methods.

The second person is "Tee". He did many first-of-the-kind things in his life and was stabbed in the back. That ruined his vision of making the world a better place. He continually talks about all the things he was the first to do, tries to get his software to come to life, and talks about how he wants to be remembered. He wants to be remembered by his ideas, terms coined, and inventions.

Which person would you rather be like? I wonder if it is a person's perspective on death. Whether you are religious or not does not make a difference whether you are afraid of death. I know people who know God and are not afraid of death and those who are. I know people who do not believe in God who are not afraid of death and those who are. It seems the person who is afraid of death wants to remind people what they have done.

Those who are afraid of death want to be remembered for their accomplishments and not by who they were. You can argue that we are our accomplishments. Perhaps to an extent, but is that all that makes us who we are? What makes us think we should even be remembered?