Friday, June 09, 2006

It's Not You're Stupid, It's Just I'm Clever

Are people really stupid?

Perhaps in fact, they're just uninformed or that we have greater and deeper insight than them.

Do we avoid conflict by saying we were just "lucky" in knowing the right thing?

Does Tiger Woods say when he wins a tournament that he was just lucky in getting the ball into the hole? "Aiyah, just lucky leh, I happen to hit the ball at the right angle, nothing much too it. And the wind blew at the right time."

Or how about Evander Holyfield when he beats an opponent to pulp? "I didn't do much leh. I just held out my fist and his chin landed on it."

Funny? However, that's the sort of statements you get in Singapore/Malaysian culture. The Asian modesty and "humility" at work.

It seems that people don't want to seen to be arrogant, or to be better than their peers.

I remember in my own life it started in Standard 1 (Primary 1). All I did was say something I knew (I can't even remember what it was) or perhaps acted something out and another kid said "Wah! You so action ah?"

I observe people who get straight A's who receive their awards with head bowed embarassed in getting their prize. There's nothing wrong with it in the right context. Sometimes it is embarassing to get an award. But can you imagine the Brazil team lifting aloft the World Cup "embarassed" to win something they've trained hard and long for?

Real competition has nothing to do with crushing an opponent, it is in doing your best and in building each other up.

The "loser" in a game doesn't lose. He has won because he has tried his best and has stretched himself with someone better than him. (Better than him this time that is.)

We think that in being self-deprecating we do not hurt our opponents feelings or make him down. No, that isn't it. In fact, if you think so, it means you're living in a scarcity mentality. If your opponent is mature enough and has the same attitude, he can handle defeat and grow stronger from it.

But does it then strikes as pride? What then is humility? What is true humility?

Humility when others lose isn't downplaying yourself or others but upplaying.

It's emphasis should be on building others up, not on tearing others (including yourself) down.

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