Vain and humble

21 Jun

The word vanity has its origin in the Latin term, vanus, which means vain, empty.

In general, it is said that the opposite of vanity is modesty, simplicity, but it is confusing vain with proud, pride imagines that everyone depends on its presence and qualities, but the vain needs flatterers and subservient.

I prefer to say that the opposite of vanity is humility, which comes from humus, the fertilizer from which fertility springs, the humble person knows his shortcomings and therefore grows in his smallness and attains more wisdom than the vain person who has difficulty seeing his limitations.

The reason for the confusion of the word humility is that there is a synthetic absolute superlative that is very humble, this indeed indicates a low condition, obscurity and poverty, but look at its superlative, or its exaggeration, the humble knows that he also has qualities.

Mutual correction is always possible for growth, the vain person does not know this, as Exupéry says: “but the vain person did not listen. The vain hear nothing but praise.”

That is why the vain person, typical of our time, enjoys the consumption of full freedom without restrictions, Byung-Chul Han in his analysis of psychopolitical power states: “Today, power increasingly assumes a permissive form. In its permissiveness, or rather in its affability, power puts aside its negativity and passes itself off as freedom.”

It’s easy to recognize the vain ones: they like to sit in the front row, they are always arrogant in their truths and positions, they don’t look to the Other and to the side, and in the case of religions they think they are saints, privileged or uniquely loved by the divine.

Any cultural or religious literature demonstrates that this is a source of errors and a stagnation in the development of people and society, it is the inverse of the civilizing process, as it is the inability to correct routes and errors.



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