Thursday, June 30, 2011

Is Modesty Something to be Pursued?

I was watching a movie this past week.  It was a Jane Austen movie called "Northanger Abbey."  It really is the tale of two heroines.  The first young lady is named Catherine.  Catherine is a simple girl who grew up in a non-descript home, with non-descript parents and a non-descript family.  As she is growing up the dialog details how she isn't really into the fashionable scene and would much rather prefer playing cricket with her family.  So of course, this being a Jane Austen film, Catherine is whisked away by her rich aunt and uncle to, you guessed it, Bath.  Once there, Catherine is introduced to society and she is awed by the pagentry and sheer numbers of people there.

The other girl who is presented in the movie is much more fashionable and "in society".  Her name is Isabella.  Isabella is potrayed as much more aggressive and more interested in pursuing a husband (rich of course!).  Isabella moves freely within the social circles and she is constantly watching and being watched.

The difference between the two girls is very interesting in that it definetly portrays a contrast in values.  One is overawed by what is going on; the other is simply playing the field to her greatest advantage.

So as you watch the movie, which one is behaving in a modest fashion and which one isn't.  Which one is dressing immodestly and which one is dressing modestly?  Finally, can you determine which one you would most want to be or want to be with?

Interesting questions from a movie based upon a book written almost 200 years ago.  I wonder what she would think about how the characters are portrayed today.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What is modesty? Now that's a good question!

Hello everyone!
As you've found my sweet little spot in the world, I'm guessing that like me, you've noticed that our culture is tending to forget that sometimes its much more appealing to cover up, rather than to reveal.  Modesty is fast becoming something that no one considers as either important or desirable.
So what is modesty?  Well according to Webster's 1828 dictionary,
MOD'ESTY, n. [L. modestia.] That lowly temper which accompanies a moderate estimate of one's own worth and importance. This temper when natural, springs in some measure from timidity, and in young and inexperienced persons, is allied to bashfulness and diffidence. In persons who have seen the world, and lost their natural timidity, modesty springs no less from principle than from feeling, and is manifested by retiring, unobtrusive manners, assuming less to itself than others are willing to yield, and conceding to others all due honor and respect, or even more than they expect or require.

2. Modesty, as an act or series of acts, consists in humble, unobtrusive deportment, as opposed to extreme boldness, forwardness, arrogance, presumption, audacity or impudence. Thus we say, the petitioner urged his claims with modesty; the speaker addressed the audience with modesty.
3. Moderation; decency.
4. In females, modesty has the like character as in males; but the word is used also as synonymous with chastity, or purity of manners. In this sense, modesty results from purity of mind, or from the fear of disgrace and ignominy fortified by education and principle. Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of their honor.
I think that most people only consider modesty as a form of dress.  If you're dressed from head to toe in a burqa, then you're being modest.  But note that the second definition of modesty is all about behavior.  So not only our clothing, but also our behavior can be either modest or immodest.

Hopefully, this blog will be a place for people to discover the beauty of modesty.  We can learn that it is not only a virtue, but one of the best virtues you can have.