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August 19, 2006

Never, Never Right

The 20 year-old son of Israeli writer David Grossman was killed in Lebanon just two days before the ceasefire. I'd never read his famous 1987 book The Yellow Wind about the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. So I got it out of the library today. At one point Grossman writes:

I pondered then about how much one must be suspicious of people who testify about themselves morning and night that they are merciful.

Clearly he stole this from something I said 17 years later:

...when people get righteously worked up about how wonderful they are, and their enemy's lack of gratitude, you really need to keep an eye on them.

SEE ALSO: Jim Henley --

People who say their problem is that they are too nice are never, never right.
Posted at August 19, 2006 01:13 PM | TrackBack

I am a rotten scoundrel, y'know.

Posted by: abb1 at August 19, 2006 01:32 PM

I would put that list of things that if you have to say them, then you know their not true!

"I'm a humble person."


Posted by: Rafael at August 19, 2006 01:38 PM

I belong to the greatest nation.
We are the most charitable.
We are not aggressive.
Freedom Loving, Peace loving nation
Infinite Justice
War of Peace

“people who testify about themselves morning and night that they are merciful.”

Really? Where exactly do they testify that they are merciful? I am sure it is that they testify their God is merciful, which is a totally different thing. But, hey, why do you need facts when you can make things up; most people wouldn’t check it out anyway. I mean if they did, Fox News would have to start telling the truth.

Posted by: Moronica at August 19, 2006 03:09 PM

"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posted by: anon at August 19, 2006 06:28 PM

We all have our faults. I myself am too modest, for example.

Posted by: mistah charley at August 19, 2006 06:36 PM

Henry Clay: I would rather be right than be president.
Congressman Reed: He doesn't have to worry. He'll never be either.

Posted by: rob payne at August 20, 2006 02:03 AM

Ah, we could play this game all day. I for one am an excellent driver. Not as serious as Lebanon, but this reminds me of all the examples of whining "nice guys" that you read about at Pandagon.

Posted by: Theron at August 20, 2006 07:51 AM

"For you can have no greater sign of a more confirmed pride than when you think that you are humble enough. He that thinks he loves God enough shows himself to be an entire stranger to that holy passion, so he that thinks he has humility enough shows that he is not so much as a beginner in the practice of true humility."

William Law, "A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life" 1728


Posted by: Rob Gorton at August 20, 2006 02:22 PM

Thanks for that quote from Law, Rob Gorton, I had never heard of the man before and will have to check it out.

There is a verse in Gaudiya Vaishnavism asking us to be "humbler than a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree." It is a very hard command to even try to follow.

Posted by: Saheli at August 21, 2006 02:22 AM

What's a library?

Posted by: wkmaier at August 21, 2006 07:09 AM

I am a born-again Christian and I do not feel morally superior, so much so that I want to recruit...I mean, convert... the entire world to my preferred religious idiotology...I mean, ideology.

Oh, yeah! And Canada Sucks!

There will be no more intifadas in America. Rather a grovelling hovel in BC than a torture chamber in DG, I always say!

Posted by: JLaR at August 21, 2006 07:25 AM