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What Goes Up Must Come Down

May 29, 2017

Well said, Ronnie, well said…

Ronnie McBrayer

Carina Chocano wrote a timely column earlier this year entitled, “Laying Low,” her premise being that we have lost the virtue of humility in our society. The loss has been so complete, per Chocano, that we have even inverted humility’s true meaning.

She wrote: “These days…to pronounce yourself ‘humbled’ is to announce your greatness. Because in the present-day vernacular, people are most humbled by the things that make them look good.” And then she quipped, “When did humility get so cocky?” Indeed, when exactly?

In a word, humility is “humus,” meaning dirt. Literally, it is “what falls beneath our feet,” a willingness to fall as low as possible, an attitude of deference or service. Contrast this with a word strikingly similar in sound to “humus,” but completely opposite in meaning: “Hubris.” It means “defiance,” and in ancient use describes an uprising against the gods.

With humility – humus – we…

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