In today’s world, humility is no longer a virtue- it is a handicap


Jia Her of 3E6 has been elected to front this topic for her class. At first glance the topic seems really difficult. However, as some of the class found out today, the issue can be made simpler by breaking it into a set of dichotomies. For example- contrast the present with the past, virtue with vice, humility with pride. This makes it easier to examine the topic. Ultimately, is it possible to conclude that while humilty is presently a handicap, it is still viewed as a virtue to aim for? Try to think of examples to illustrate the various points. Do you have links to any stories or jokes that may be relevant? Do post them with your comments.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


13 thoughts on “In today’s world, humility is no longer a virtue- it is a handicap

  1. Topic: Humility is no longer a virtue- It is a handicap

    Well, firstly, our group would like to present the meanings of a couple of words we had brain-stormed on, together with, of course, q little help from a dictionary so, supposingly…

    humility- the quality of being humble

    virtue- moral righteous, something each and everyone of us should
    have in order to be a good person

    handicap- a hindrance, a barrier preventing one from gaining success

    We feel that, in the past, because people were divided into classes, mainly the upper class and the lower class, humble beings are seen as being sincere, truly, from the bottom of their hearts when they do not boast, and therefore, the people from both the upper and lower class will give him due respect, bringing him further in his line of business. Back then, few people bother to be humble, very few of them would throw aside their pride and bring themselves down to the level of a common folk even though they were far superior.

    Confucius was a great example, even after he had build a name for himsel, and, even after his teachings became widespread, he was still himself, ever so humble and always willing to lay himself down to accept words of advises from the common folk.

    Now, however, things have changed. In the ever competitive society of today, if a successful person does not boast about his achievement, nobody will get to know of his achievement. Nowadays, with every citizen given nearly equal rights and being thought ‘the proper way to behave’, humbleness, especially too much, will turn one into an overly pretentious person

    Humbleness can also be seen as a sign of weakness and bosses most certainly do not want weak people taking leadership positions in his workplace, he would have prefered confident people who knew what they were doing. Also, with, in today’s society, people face strong competition all over the place, therefore,one MUST emphasize on his own achievements or he will stand to loose out.

    Therefore, as our group have concluded, there is really almost no space for humility in the world today Yet, as it seems, there is always this minority of truely humble people, trying hard to save the earth from the corruption it is facing, striving so hard to bring back the spirit of perhaps, a century before, where humble beings are regarded and respected.

    Well, well, yup, that’s that then , all the opinions of the members in our little group. =)

  2. Well done! I can see that you have indeed given this a lot of thought, and I like what you have come up with. One thing though- I have a little problem with your definition. You must try to define humility without resorting to using the word ‘humble’- or at least explain what ‘humble’ itself means. Thanks for the prompt post!

  3. In today’s world, humility is no longer a virtue- it is a handicap

    “Humility” refers to a state of being humble. In fact, it should refer to something of a good value, but in today’s modern world it is no longer a virtue. Why ???

    Because people, nowadays, live in a very hectic lifestyle, where it is a lot competitive as compared to yesterday’s world, usually refer to business-wise. Therefore, social interaction is very important, you need friends, partners to aid in your works or projects. You will not make any significant accomplishments if you do things sole. Thus, one who is humility will not like to boost about his own strengths so other people might thought that he or she will not be able to learn all the positive qualities that he possessed, therefore they will have the mindset that he is a very quiet guy who does not like to share things with his friends, so there is no point to make friend like him. Moreover people who are quiet or “shy” will be easily taken advantage by someone who is quick-witted.

    But people in the past are usually more simple-minded, and their pace of life is slow, so being humble is nothing serious. Furthermore, people from ancient times tends to emphasis more on being “humble” , so that one will not feel that he or she is arrogant, thus easily get along.

    But some people might comment that being “humble” in modern world will no longer be the KEY OF SUCCESS. Nowadays people are sly, they are no longer simple-minded, our country is progressing at an amazing speed, therefore competition for business is intense.

    Generally, our group feels that one can be humble but only to a certain extent.

    Ehsan, Tseung jun, Gabriel, Hui Lak, Jun hong

  4. In today’s world, humility is no longer a virtue-it is a handicap.

    Our group says:
    Humility: modesty, or diffidence, a lack of willingness to expound one’s own talents; where even though someone has done well, he/she does not boast of it, but rather encourages other to do better, is not complacent, and insists he/she still has a long way to go.
    Virtue: a good or admirable quality
    Handicap: an impediment to progress

    Some points my group has come up with:
    -Whether humility is a virtue can be considered from within both a social and a materialistic context. People considered to be humble and unpretentious generally tend to have more true friends and are more well-liked, whereas highly-driven, arrogant people whom seize every chance they see to promote themselves and achieve their goals, while achieving great success, and possibly riches and fame, have fewer friends, and are quite possibly lonely. (money and fame isn’t everything) Therefore it can be, in a way, considered to be a choice between well liked or successful.

    -However, it can also be argued that humility is an outdated concept that has no place in the fast-paced rat race of today, where people grasp for power and will do anything to further their own means, as being shy and retiring is simply not pragmatic. For example in the workforce, employees whom advertise their capabilities are more likely to be promoted, whereas those who are humble and “prefer to prove themselves through their own actions rather than words” will languish due to lack of recognition, and lack of opportunity. In the Information Age, employers can simply check out their possible candidates online, and find out everything from their age, to their hobbies and likes and dislikes. Nowadays when looking for a job, people state all their positive attributes and achievements, whether real or imagined, in their CVs and resumes, to persuade companies to employ them. In a world where only the fittest (or most pragmatic) survive, being humble is simply illogical, and not practical.

    -In Singapore, humility is only truly valued by the older generation of Chinese, whom still strongly believe in Confucianism. However, it should be noted that overweening arrogance does tend to get on anyone’s nerves, whatever their culture or generation.

    -Is pride a good thing, and is humility bad? Or is humility to be encouraged, and pride to be objected to? Both of them have their place, and neither is mutually exclusive. Pride is beneficial when it drives people to improve themselves, but it can also be malignant when it turns into arrogance and conceit. Humility should be encouraged as it promotes fellow-feeling and helps people get along, but when humility turns into servility and abasement, that is where we draw the line.

    In conclusion, while humility is indeed a virtue, people today cannot survive on it alone, and thus, have relegated it to be put on display when amongst their elders, as many believe that humility is a sign of weakness, and those who are humble will simply bullied by those who aren’t.


    Creating without claiming,
    Doing without taking credit,
    Guiding without interfering,
    This is primal virtue.
    The Dao De Jing

    One must be as humble as the dust before he can discover truth.
    Mahatma Gandhi

    It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.
    Saint Augustine

    That’s it, I guess. =)

  5. These are all very good comments- in fact some look like full blown essays. Jia Her may not need to write the speech at all! Just kidding though, Jia Her, because of course no matter how many people contribute their ideas you must put your own stamp on it.

    Well done 3E6. I am very proud of you.

  6. Our group thinks that the definition of humility, virtue, handicap are as follows.Humility:being not proud about something people have done.Virtue:it is a positive moral value that people desire to have in the society today.Handicap:disadvantage in some sort of ways.

    In today’s world,more and more peple are more religious,so they base their ations mainly on a certain value.however, nowadays, people are more realistic, they know to succeed and being virtuos does not totally gurantee their future sucess.

    Humility can be seen almost everywhere. Whether is it at home, in the office or in the school.

  7. comments on the speech

    Our group thinks that being humble will only cause one to lose out in many opportunities.. especially in opportunities that would allow one to present his or her abilities.. nowadays.. only when one snatches or nominates his or herself for a position or a task will one be able to get what he or she wants.

    In the past, people were more humble for fear of being seen as arrogant or proud as they would be shunned by others. Nowadays, it seems that those who are more cocky about their abilities have more fame and company than those who keep quiet about their hidden talents

    With the fast moving pace in Singapore, it is difficult for one to give up buisness opportunities for the sake of being humble. Money is seemingly more important nowadays than anything else and for the sake of their loved ones, people woul rather give up the idea of having the virtue of having humility

  8. We have a lot of thoughts coming out, and some of them are actually contradictory. That’s not really a bad thing at this stage, but Jia Her will eventually have to take sides and that is when the fun will start. I would like to see you guys responding to each other’s’ comments as well.

  9. In today’s world, humility is no longer a virtue; it is a handicap

    – In modern society, those humiliated by other people will think that they are humiliated as a forming of learning, but not as a form of guidance.

    – If a person has much talent, but too humbled, people will think that he is overcautious to do anything; no courage.

    – Being overly humbled, while going on stage, no courage to show off his talents.

    – People think humility as something which is not to be proud of, and not as a form of learning.

  10. Um.. there’s a part which is:

    – In modern society, those humiliated by other people will think that they are humiliated as a forming of TEASING, but not as a form of guidance.
    PS not supposed to be learning

  11. In today’s world, humility is no longer a virtue; it is a handicap.

    – In modern society, those humiliated by other people will think that they are humiliated as a form of teasing, but not as a form of guidance.
    – If a person has much talent, but too humbled, people will think that he is overcautious to do anything; no courage.
    – Being overly humble, while going on stage, no courage to show off his talents.
    – People think humility as a bad thing, not as a form of learning.

  12. In your understanding of the depth and the value of humilty, one must go aginst the grain so to speak, standing out as different with humility, today, is truly unique, among a world filled with herd mentality. All one has to do is consider and then self-analyze, and then apply the principles , what Jesus performed while on earth. Left a lofty position to help sinful, imperfect men, washed the feet of his apostles, demonstrated byobject lesson, when he took a child and put it in the midst of his apostles when they were arguing who was the greatest among them. You see humility is an outstanding quality that benefits our relationship with others, in public, family, friendship, neighbors , marriages, in essences, it’s worth and value are universal ! God said it best : To walk with him we MUST be humble….whoever humbles himself will be exalted. The was to stand out that has the most lasting good is to become HUMBLE !

  13. I am totally agree with “anonymous”. This person hit it right on the head of the nail. people today do not put God first and ask for His help or what is right for them. People do not have to climb the ladder by ripping , hurting,and doing immoral things in order to get to the top. All they have to do is ask if this is where God wants me , if not then He has a much better plan for you and you must trust and believe in His way is the best way. After all He made you ,He knows whats best for you.

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