Byte-Sized Virtue: Season 4, Episode 8 – Thomas’ Honor

Stack Dragon wrote in to comment on the last Byte-Sized Virtue episode:

I enjoyed your latest Byte-Sized Virtue on dishonor. I especially liked your discussion about how being honorable involves acknowledging deserved praise. I usually tend to shrug off compliments on my work (e.g., “It wasn’t that big a deal” , “Anyone could have done it”) as a means of trying to appear like I’m not seeking praise. What I have found, though, is that not accepting compliments often has the opposite of my desired effect. That is, the compliment giver is more likely to see me as ungrateful for not accepting their compliment. So the effect of negating their compliment is that I’m actually viewed as being less honorable.

Firstly, I’d like to say thanks to Stack for writing in; I always love hearing from people who’ve listened to podcast episodes. And in this case, what he said in his message inspired much of this episode.

Full disclosure: I’m definitely in the same boat as far as complements go…to the point that my wife sometimes has to chide me to just take the compliment. Because you’re right: not accepting what the other person is saying can, and often does, give offence in turn.

This touches on the virtue of Humility, too…in fact, the term “false humility” is one I’ve heard used. It isn’t humble, obviously, to elevate oneself unduly…to be the braggart. But neither is it humble to eschew accepting any praise or compliments that others offer.

Funnily, and perhaps fittingly, it would thus seem that Humility is at the core of what it means to practice Honor well.

Listen to the Episode

The season of Easter — the (roughly) fifty days of celebration that follows Easter— began on Easter Sunday (which, this year, fell on April 16th). It will continue until Pentecost (June 4th), which feast day commemorates the reception of the Holy Spirit by the Apostles.