“The greater your exploits the less you need affect them: content yourself with doing, leave the talking to others. Give away your deeds but do not sell them.”
~Balthasar Gracian, Aphorism #295.
Contentedness is a quality known to few and as it is it seems never to be a constant in life. For only two, there are always issues related to our health and our relationships that knock us for an hour here or a day there, and at times we go through months and even years of discontentedness.
Still, there’s another form of contentedness we can all learn something from.
It’s the sense of self-esteem and humility that resists adding to, as Balthasar Gracian says, our own exploits.
Making the Most of the Best of Us
The best of our abilities and exploits is a great boon to our self-esteem, augmenting our purpose and our very identity.
Yet, when we take them too far—big-noting ourselves—we lose all the credibility we’ve otherwise gained.
Making the very best of what God has blessed us with is simply a matter of leaving our actions to determine the perceptions of others, not our words. Why would we try and convince people of the things we’ve already done, or make even more from them, when our impure motives putrefy those good deeds to their core?
This is the outcome. People know we’re compensating for something when we ‘claim’ the credit we just earned without even so much as a being word said. One drop of water in pure oil undermines the grade completely.
Making the most of us is not opening our mouths. It’s a nobility of being that just allows our actions to rest for waiting world to respond to.
The Very Best of Deeds-Done Happiness
When we ‘arrive’ at the place of taking absolutely no credit for the things we do, we get something no one can give us.
We gain God’s blessing.
In this, we find that God blesses us with even more self-esteem and even thought-space (and safe-space) for others’ great deeds, for there’s nothing better than lauding someone else’s positive action in life.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.