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The utility of modesty

I have been thinking about the idea of modesty lately and of its utility. Modesty is useful I think primarily because it allows us to predict ourselves in the world around us. We can predict ourselves and more accurately our behavior if we have set for ourselves some limits. Whatever these limits may be they have to be reasonable and therefore neither too strict nor too lenient. An example of being too strict would be a limit where we don’t allow ourselves to interact in matters of ordinary dealing with the opposite gender whereas an example of being too lenient would be where we allow ourselves to indulge with decadent women/men such as prostitutes. In either case we will be behaving in a way that will harm us.

Modesty as limits that we set upon ourselves of ‘decency’ should help us interact with people of the opposite gender in a very rich manner. It should in fact ‘simplify’ these relationships.

Modesty as applied to marriage I think follows in the following manner: If an unmarried person comes across another unmarried person and is able to estimate a healthy long term relationship one should simply investigate this relationship further and propose to marry. I would imagine that if both people are mature and want to engage in a healthy relationship then such a relationship should be acceptable not only to the two of them but also to society. I also think that if one realizes that marriage is not possible then he should stop himself from engaging in any emotional manner because this would only hurt the person. It would I think hurt him/her because it will be emotional investment in a relationship which is not realistic.


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This is what the movie says:

1) In every game and con there is always a victim and there is always an opponent. It's good to know when you are the former so you can become the latter.

2) But the question is how do you prepare yourself for this game?

3) You only get smater by playing a smarter opponent.

4) The smarter the game the smarter the opponent

5) Checkers is an example of such a game. Chess is a better game. Debate is an even better opportunity to learn and so on.

6) But the question is where does the game stop? or one can ask what is the smartest game one can play?

7) The answer according to the movie is: "The game of con you play with yourself".

The text below has been added on 3 Dec 2008 and is based on a comment posted on October 30, 2008, at time 4:12 PM. I have only recently understood what this person meant and it is …

The beauty of self-negation

Self-negation is the act of exercising your will power to do what you don’t want to do such that you benefit from this act [of self negation]. The more one practices self-negation the better you get at controlling your will and making it do what you want it to, when you want it to.

For obvious reasons this can have tremendous benefits. Just imagine a situation where your superior wants you to sit late or gives you a task that is very difficult and you have enough control over yourself to not get flustered! In fact imagine turning your world into the world you always imagined as a child… by taking the difficult steps, through self-negation…one can only marvel at the beauty of creating the world you want!

We get the chance to practice self-negation many times in the day, each chance another ‘opportunity’ to get better at controlling ourselves.

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We learn about the world as we get feedback from things within it such as from family, friends, mentors and even books.

Feedback can tell you where you went wrong and affirm what you do right. It can thus help you predict the future.

Interestingly there are people I have met who question the importance of feedback. They say: “I can figure out everything I need to on my own. I don’t need feedback like others do.” This is not true. In fact there is a big danger lurking in this notion.

If the world you are creating is your own you might get stuck in it or some part of it and not know what to do next.

If however, this world of yours and all parts of it are based on some feedback you will always know who to ask if you get stuck.

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