Dương Chu (DC), a known scholar in China, stayed at an inn during one of his travels. The inn keeper had two concubines, one pretty and one ugly. The pretty one was not liked while the ugly one was well-liked. DC asked the resident children why. They said, “The pretty wife was aware of her beauty and therefore lost her appeal; we no longer saw her as pretty. Whereas the ugly wife was well aware of her lack of beauty and therefore compensated for it; thus we no longer see her as unattractive.”
DC turned to his accompanying students and said, “You should remember this. The superior person should forget about his superiority and in doing so, he makes himself likable. He will be welcomed everywhere he goes.”
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Those who are too proud of their talents or looks tend to be boastful and arrogant and therefore are not liked and respected by others. In contrast, the untalented and unattractive tend to be more aware of their weaknesses. They learn to compensate with good manners and humility. They are more liked and might even have a chance to be taken as a spouse.
Humility is the basis of virtue. This lesson should be taught to children while they are still impressionable.