Thursday, November 02, 2006

Gladwell Article

A few days ago I posted about a fascinating article by Malcolm Gladwell, a popular writer and pop culture analyst. Several of you pointed out that I got the article wrong. Here is the correct article. I'm glad that those who read this blog communicate with me and tell me when I've messed something up. This article focuses on Allen Iverson, a basketball player who has been the NBA's MVP and scoring champion. Yet Gladwell shows that numbers aren't everything and that Iverson may not have been as valuable to his team as some thought.

So there's that. While you go about your day, think about one other type of False Humilty: False Affirmation Hungry Humility. When you have this tendency, you present yourself as fundamentally humble and others-centered. Yet when someone compliments, or even gives a whiff of a positive statement about you, you jump. You perk up, you visibly brighten, your breathing gets faster, and you implore the person who just uttered the supposed compliment to repeat it. Or, in a variation of this tendency, you cast around for compliments, giving your conversational partners plenty of opportunity to notice that you're sad and humble and desperately unpraised. "Well, I really stunk out there tonight...I'm no good at anything." Such statements invite the affirmation of others.

Now there's clearly a place for needing and wanting encouragement. We all do. But it's better to train ourselves to not depend on it. It's better to be happy when it comes rather than relieved when it comes. We need encouragement, yes, of a personal kind. But we need it when it's given to us, if that makes sense. In other words, when it comes, you have received what you needed. When it does not come, find encouragement in other things--like the gospel of salvation. If it doesn't encourage you that Christ loved you enough to die for you, then I don't know what will. Besides that, be part of an encouraging environment. Encourage others and they will do the same for you. By focusing on them, you'll actually find you need less affirmation than before.

Then you'll truly be a valuable "team" member. Haha.


Blogger Jed said...

The last few days, reading your blog has been like reading Ambrose's De officiis--or rather, the parts in book 1 on "seemliness" where he instructs priests on the right way to walk lest they appear too "haughty."

6:22 AM  
Blogger Dad said...


Most of the time you don't make that many mistakes. Your writing really is good, and helpful, and edifying, and wise. :))

Grace and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ,


3:49 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

I found it interesting that the article addressed Allen Iverson and not MJ or Shaq, they chose someone that most people don't have a positive connotation of. Also, they never said who was first in any of the years, interesting as well. We all knew that Jason Kidd was better than Walker, but Walker went to UK so he should get paid as much as Kidd, plus, pay doesn't say anything about how good a player is anyway, some idiot signed Jalen Rose to play for 17 million this year when he's a guard in his mid-thirties, he was wisely cut.

This series that you are on is a very good topic, we should all be very introspective while reading these posts for they are very helpful for our sanctification. Thanks for posting.

8:07 AM  

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