Don’t you just hate boastful people. I am not sure if it is a particularly modern disease, but I seem to come across them more and more often the older I get – and the more intolerant I become of them too. You know the sort; they cook a meal and immediately declare that no-one else make a paella like them; isn’t that the best paella you ever tasted? They declare. Being well brought up and not rude enough to declare “Well, actually no, it is okay, but I have tasted many better” you simply say “Yes, it is very good”. Which of course simply re-enforces their self-worth. And then there are those who tell you in great detail how they have rebuilt a motorbike form scratch, or done their own plumbing or re-wired their own house – all brilliantly of course. I do sometimes wonder if they have omitted the inevitable floods and burnt junction boxes that must have ensued.
And these serial boasters never seem to have any conscience or consciousness that we, ordinary incompetents, are both unbelieving and bored, while simply amazed that anyone can have such a high opinion of themselves. Then we have the name-droppers; not only did they go to school with famous people but worked with them too – and probably taught them all they know too. There are also the boasters by proxy – who relate the achievements of their children, the gods of the new age, dripping in University degrees with huge salaries and mansions – as if their achievements somehow reflect on their equally brilliant parents.
No…Please no more. Let us raise a very small flag for diffidence. Let us praise the discreet ones, who may occasionally quietly reflect on their own very small achievements, rue their personal failings, but would never dream of broadcasting to the world how wonderful they are. Because, we are the real achievers; we who simply carry on against the odds, who make very small waves, are not full of ourselves but try by small acts of kindness to leave the world a slightly better place.