“The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.”
Today’s quote comes from the Chinese philosopher Confucious and are words to live by in these uncertain times. Modesty is not dead by any means but for most it seems to be a quality that is severely lacking in many individuals where calmer heads should be prevailing. At least this is what I have seen lately in my opinion. Self management skills are in desperate need of a makeover.
When someone is modest they are very reserved both on their outer and inner appearance. They comes across as rather self confident in their abilities, hard working, dedicated to their goals and are not actively seeking approval from others; in other words, they do what they they think is best. Now for the purpose of today’s quote the word modest is used to described the mannerisms of someone’s speech and not necessarily their actions. As we know, actions however, speak louder than words.
Former President Teddy Roosevelt had a famous saying when he was asked for his opinion on how the United Staes should conduct their affairs as it related to foreign policy. He was quoted as saying, “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” When I first read Confucious’ quote I immediately made a connection to President Roosevelts’ one because I remember actually doing a project that focused on his quote and even drew a replica of Roosevelt as a sort of policeman of the United States overseeing his foreign policy decree.
The one thing that Confucious reminds us of that it is that modesty can only get you so far and that if you do not have some sort of action behind your modest speech, your words will become just that, words. We need to follow through with what we say. We do however need to do this with some tact which lately seems to be overlooked and can come across to the public as being rather impulsive and lacking is self discipline. We need to remember that our actions should never be bully tactics but rather ones that connect to whatever we modestly stated previously.
As our words should be well thought out before we actually speak them so should the same be done for our actions. It makes no sense if the two are not aligned and consistent with one another. If they aren’t this can lead to mass confusion for all involved and I’m not sure about you but I have had enough confusion lately to last me a lifetime. I want and need clarity. I need to be able to see that the pathway we are headed on is one that is being clearly thought out with the best intentions of all people in mind. I think our nation, heck, even our world is at least owed that.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards managing yourself better?