Monday, October 12, 2015

Outside Quotes on Boasting

This is my last post on this topic for now, so if you’ve read to the end, thanks for having patience with me.

You might be interested to know that there are some useful quotations out in the world about boasting.  Some are witty and funny, others are just plain pithy.  I hope you enjoy them.

Boasting forgets what made it possible

A clever commentator says that when he hears some folk blow and brag, he is reminded of the story of the flea who said to the elephant, “Boy, how we shook that bridge when we crossed.” Boasting is seldom associated with real greatness.
—Frank Francis, Ogden Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah, March 7, 1938.

Whatever we do for the Lord’s kingdom, we are the flea and He is the elephant.  No matter what miracles are done or what mountains are moved, He is the doer and we the weak instruments.

He who boasts loudest of his achievements is generally most forgetful of those whose aid made such achievements possible.
The Sunny South, Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 26, 1901.

“No one can take credit for inspiration or creativity.”
Ron Brackin

If it was inspiration, it didn’t come from me, it came to me from elsewhere.  If it was creativity, then the pieces came together in a new way I hadn’t seen before, and that was inspiration too.  So what is there left to boast about?  My work ethic to make it happen?  What about the conditions that bless me with the time to put in the work?  What about the strength to push through all that work?  Is that all me?  The grace of God counts for something, probably more than I think. So I still can’t boast of the work I put in.)

Boasting of ancestors

The Jews of John the Baptist’ day had this problem.  They would say, “We are children of Abraham” as though that guaranteed the favor of God, and John had to tell them that God was able to raise up children to Abraham from the stones.

Do we boast of pioneer ancestry? Of Founding Fathers ancestry? Of Mayflower ancestry? Of European royalty ancestry?  If so, read on.

The man who has nothing to boast of but his illustrious ancestry is like the potato - the best part under ground.
--Thomas Overbury

Those who boast of their descent [ancestors], brag on what they owe to others.
--Lucius Annaeus Seneca

I have often noticed that ancestors never boast of the descendants who boast of ancestors. I would rather start a family than finish one. Blood will tell, but often it tells too much.
--Don Marquis

Boasting in Wisdom

People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.
--Stephen Hawking

You get the idea that Stephen Hawking has met a lot of people who have told him proudly of their IQ because they felt obliged to make themselves look good in front of him. You can tell he wasn’t as impressed as they hoped he would be.

A true history of human events would show that a far larger proportion of our acts are the result of sudden impulse and accident than of that reason of which we so much boast.
--Peter Cooper

Boasting of Ignorance

It has become almost a cliche to remark that nobody boasts of ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of science and proudly claim incompetence in mathematics.
--Richard Dawkins

I perceive two things in Scotland of the most fearful omen: ignorance of theological truth, and a readiness to pride themselves in and boast of it.
--Edward Irving

This boasting in ignorance is really weird. Why would someone boast of something like that? 

Let’s take the case of Richard Dawkins. He’s very pro-science.  When people boast to him of their ignorance of science and math, at bottom they are still trying to make themselves appear better than him. It is as if they say, “I know very little of what is so important to you, and yet I am getting along just fine. Therefore I am better than you. Therefore I don’t need to know that stuff.”

The reality? The penalty of ignorance is susceptibility to charlatans of science and false prophets of religion.

Boasting in Strength and Performance

To boast of a performance which I cannot beat is merely stupid vanity. And if I can beat it that means there is nothing special about it. What has passed is already finished with. What I find more interesting is what is still to come.
--Emil Zatopek

No athlete was ever victorious because he did his boasting in advance.
—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Feb. 1, 1940.

Maybe the fellow who boasts that he is just as good as he used to be, didn't used to be as good as he thinks he was.
Pocatello Tribune, Pocatello, Idaho, Dec. 16, 1936.

Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.
--Louis L'Amour

Boasting in the Military

Buonaparte has often made his boast that our fleet would be worn out by keeping the sea and that his was kept in order and increasing by staying in port; but know he finds, I fancy, if Emperors hear the truth, that his fleet suffers more in a night than ours in one year.
--Horatio Nelson

Valiancy is never boastful. Boasting is usually the coward's bluff.
—H.W. Knickerbocker, Houston Post-Dispatch, Houston, Texas, June 17, 1929.

Boasting in Goodness

Hollywood likes to boast that it can elevate the national conscience.
--Mike Royko

Baaaa-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa!  (Michaela shakes her head and tsks.)

It is common for those that are farthest from God, to boast themselves most of their being near to the Church.
--Matthew Henry

He knows no good who boasts he does no harm.
—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Dec. 17, 1905.

Boasting on social media

“No job is complete until the selfie is posted.”
Ashok Kallarakkal

“How different would people act if they couldn't show off on social media? Would they still do it?”
Donna Lynn Hope

Boasting and Insecurity

“Perhaps the less we have, the more we are required to brag.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

“Quoting an old proverb: "An empty cart rattles loudly." she said. meaning, One who lacks substance boasts loudest.”
Alan Brennert, Honolulu

How Boasting Relates to Deception

Vanity degrades. Boastfulness depreciates the moral character. You notice every day the exhibitions of vanity, boastfulness and pomposity. ... That spirit leads to exaggeration and to the use of such superlative expressions that we lose sight of the positive and of the comparative; and by and by, the words lose their power of the highest expression and cannot make any effect on our dulled senses. We lose the moral sense to such an extent that things which appeared hurtful to us one time now seem entirely acceptable.
—Beverley E. Warner, The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, La., Jan. 25, 1904.

Hmmm.  How often do we hear the word “awesome” in common conversation?
“I can cross the boundless ocean just to save you, I cannot eat or sleep without you, I can take you on a journey to heaven and show you to the angels. All these are fake and absurd promises; Be sincere, walk up to your lover and say, honestly, darling, i can only do the best i can for you.”
Michael Bassey Johnson

You can take most of a man's boasts of good qualities as advertisements for missing ones.
—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Oct. 22, 1905.

A man boasting of his honesty is generally a rogue–of his courage generally a coward; of his riches, generally not wealthy–of his democracy, generally an aristocrat–of his intimacy with great men, generally despised by him who may chance to know him–of his wit, popularity and high standards, always a fool.
Catholic Telegraph, Cincinnati, Ohio, Sept. 6, 1838.

Boasters are cousins to liars!
Youth's Companion, Boston, Mass., Oct. 25, 1860.

Why there’s no need to boast

The more one knows about himself the less he has to boast about.
—Dewey O. Miller, The Wesleyan Youth, Marion, Ind., April 1963.

“After awhile you realize that putting your actions where your mouth is makes you less likely to have to put your money where your mouth is.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

“There is no need to boast of your accomplishments and what you can do. A great man is known, he needs no introduction.”
CherLisa Biles

“The most beautiful women I have known had one thing in common apart from beauty: humility. It's a shame that those with less to boast about do it the most.”
Donna Lynn Hope

“Protestations of happiness could sound almost boasting to those whose happiness is incomplete. One did not boast of perfect skin to one affected by dermatitis; for the same reason, perhaps, one should take care in proclaiming one's happiness.”
Alexander McCall Smith, The Right Attitude to Rain

Boasting Hurts Us

Boasting never made a man successful–it frequently hinders his progress in life.
—Phil Conley, Daily Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., July 5, 1950.

People who are always boasting seldom have time for much performance.
—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., June 19, 1936.

“When you claim to be what you're not, you're deliberately killing opportunities, because those who would have help[ed] will shun you, thinking that you had it all already.”
Michael Bassey Johnson

“A session of boasting won't attract any real friends.  It will set you up on a pedestal, however, making you a clearer target.”
Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year

A Few Instances of Boasts Proved Wrong

My all-time favourite political promise - more a boast than a promise, really - came from former Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau, who said in the lead-up to the 1976 Olympics, 'The Olympics can no more lose money than a man can have a baby.'
--Martin O'Malley

(For the financial problems that hosting Olympics has become, see

I used to boast that Whole Foods was sort of recession-proof. And obviously I've been proven wrong. So I'm not boasting about that any longer.
--John Mackey

One final quotation..

“The truest human is the one whose conduct proceeds from goodwill and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.”
Markesa Yeager