Posted on danielim.wordpress.com
In many Asian cultures, false humility is rampant. Helen Lee, in Growing Healthy Asian American Churches, describes false humility to be “humility in the guise of deference.” For example, in a situation when a person is asked to perform a respectable task, many Asians will automatically reply with a humble “no,” even though they know that they are more than competent to do the task. In the same situation, a Westerner would typically jump at the opportunity to get ahead of the pack. Why is there such a difference? What’s the motivation?
Many Asians do this, Helen Lee states, “to avoid potential conflict or embarrassment.”
In other words, many Asians (mostly Confucian-based Asian Cultures) are influenced by the motto – “The nail that sticks up gets nailed down.” However, the motto in the West is – “The early bird gets the worm.
That’s all fine and good, but what about people like me? I’m neither Asian nor Western – I’m both! So how do I reconcile these seemingly contrary qualities?
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