Well, What Can I Say?

by Jermaine

Modesty: the quality of being modest; freedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc. (Webster Merriam Online Dictionary)

Is Modesty a lost art?

Have all of the people in the current era been trained to boast? Sometime I just stop and think of the most influential and powerful people in 2010 and I’m sadden to think at how many of them are driven by more money, more fame, and more power. You jokingly hear sports commentators openly admit that they know a player is about to have a breakout season. When asked why the common response is, “It’s a contract season!”

Is this the only reason to kick our efforts into high gear? I hope not.

What’s worse is when we see success finally finds some people they can’t help but change. I was told by a great mentor that money doesn’t make you who you are… money exposes what you’ve always been. I’ve never really had enough money to know what this fully means but I’m sure it is a deep revelation just by the tone in which it was said.

The next time some one gives you a pat on the back, a vote of confidence, or a sincere compliment think, “how can I be gracious in my response?” I am literally convinced that many people have never been taught how to accept praise or accolades. They have received it so infrequently that they grew to crave it. Once they get it they don’t know how to stop desiring more of it. If people lack to provide it then they give it to themselves. In the words of Solomon, “oh vanity of vanities!”

My hope is to someday teach my child how to win just as graciously as she fails. To have a heart and a mind that sees behind the status quo and builds her goals and dreams on something deeper. When she finally reaches these dreams (I know she will) I pray that she doesn’t let it go to her head. When people give her compliments she doesn’t respond with the fake modest line, “Well, what can I say…” All the time a simple “Thank you” would have been just fine.


If our meat is the praise of the people then what happens to our drive when the masses decide to praise another? Here’s how to practically apply this to the everyday Joe.

  • Don’t wait for your spouse to say you’re great to clean the house or cut the grass. They won’t say it and the house will never get clean and the grass will never get cut.
  • Don’t wait for your child to say you’re a great parent to give them the things they need.
  • Don’t wait for your boss to give you a raise or open praise in front of your peers to try to out work your pay grade.

The good things done in secret by people we’ve never heard of (or cared to remember) are just as important tol shaping our world.