Maybe we just have things turned around (wouldn’t be the first time for the human race). Maybe we’ve shelved things in the wrong place and now it’s hard to find what we’re looking for.
Maybe it’s like when you are making a recipe and you know you bought cumin, but you’ve torn apart the whole kitchen and still can’t find it. Then… after admitting defeat and cranking a can of Progresso soup open in disgust, you see little Tommy flying a plane around the kitchen with little cumin as its pilot.
Maybe that’s what we’ve done with humility.
“What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be.
A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed.
Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert–himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt – the Divine Reason. . . .
The new skeptic is so humble that he doubts if he can even learn. . . . There is a real humility typical of our time; but it so happens that it’s practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic. . . .
The old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which makes him stop working altogether. . . .
We are on the road to producing a race of man too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy [Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Co., 1957], pp. 31-32
Powerful insight once again from G.K.