True humility is completely sanitized of self. It contains neither a smidgen of self or a pinch of pride. Just as crystal clear water is made impure by a single drop of poison, the least little leaven of pride leavens the whole lump of humility.

Untainted humility is a rare find in our day. Most of what passes for it is found to be thinly veneered upon closer examination. For instance, consider what we might call “panhandling humility.”

This popular practice is performed to manipulate others into singing our praises, while providing us with the perfect alibi to prove our non-participation in their rousing chorus. Here’s how it works. Someone so eschews himself as to embarrass others into coming to his rescue. For example, they publicly profess themselves to be “pond scum” in hopes of making others so uncomfortable that they will come to their defense with a compliment or two. Thus, their self-flagellation is actually their way of panhandling for flattery. The hand that they accusingly point to themselves is immediately thereafter stuck out for some accolades.