The virtues are an absence before they are a presence. Courage is the absence of fear, innocence of lust, humility of pride. And what is this purifying fecundity, this mothering absence? Love, actually.
It is not necessary to renounce anything. All that does is inflate a saggy sense of self. Just stop acquiring things.
Everything happens spontaneously and yet a belief persists that we are doing it. Does the heart beat or the liver function or the sun burn itself into oblivion because of something we do?
Modesty is the grandest, most majestic of all the virtues. It is a being state. Specifically, it is the state of being indifferent to what other people think.
Modesty has never known nervousness, worry, stage fright or performance anxiety.
Modesty is not shyness. Shyness is needy, calculating, egoic. It seeks attention in order to reject it.
Modesty has never said, “I did this!”
Oh, modesty. Thy kingdom come. On earth as in heaven.
A man should keep ten percent to himself—not for himself, to himself. The portion he keeps to himself is his charitable and philanthropic activity. This should not be disclosed. Benevolence without secrecy is self-promotion. Do not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing.
Secret and sacred are intimates. Some men seem instinctively to know that secrecy is a virtue. George Michael knew it.