If you know anything about growing up in an African, ultra-Christian home, then you know a bit about how I was raised. I, like most of you, was brought up by family members who believed humility and gratitude were the most extolled virtues. It’s hard to disagree when you think of how many chapters in the Bible are dedicated to this ideology.
“Blessed are the meek…”
“In all things, give thanks…”
Where religion leaves off, conventional African wisdom picks up with sayings like…
“Pride goes before a fall…”
“The fool speaks, the wise man listens…”
“Pride is the mother of arrogance…”, etc again teaching us, from a very young age how far we can get in life simply by being humble and meek.
So it suffices to say that I grew up with these values ‘beaten’ (literally, albeit lovingly) into my subconscious.
As a young adult entering into the Corporate American landscape, I struggled with balancing these values long inculcated in me, with the new Corporate values of self promotion, i.e., speaking highly of one’s self and achievements. I had a difficult time talking about or taking credit for good work I had done.