In part one of this post, I started on a thorny topic of bragging. You can read it here: http://www.samuelwaithaka.com/2017/10/why-do-we-brag.html. I want to revisit the same topic on a lighter note, with a story, actually a true one. It is about my village pal, who had mastered the art of bragging while appearing extremely modest at the same time.
My pal, we'll call him MK, just had a way of capturing your attention. He was not - well is not, the kind of guy who is loud and speaking non-stop. On the contrary he actually is a very calm cool and collected type of a guy. But he could capture your attention for an entire evening. Now, mostly MK's stories were around the high school escapades - they were lots of them. Movie like.
I don't know if it's just me or high schools are one of the most interesting communities; very rich and dynamic. It has to be due to the young energy of course. One thing that stood out in my school life is what seemed to me like pecking orders across the board; with juniors being lowest on the hierarchy - don't get me started on the kind of suffering that was endured by a form one. They had a full time job - that of making life cozy for the seniors - from laundry, to making sure there's bread for the 10 clock snack, to entertainment - never mind it's under duress. The list is long.
Then there were the seniors and school prefects at the top of the hierarchy. There were different ways to earn a spot anywhere in between. Getting some recognition or acquiring status was important. To this end, extra-curricular activities came into play. Sports was always an asset. If you were athletic, then you were doing pretty well. If you weren't, you knew you had a hard job trying to keep up. If you knew better, you knew you had to get very serious with academics - one can never go wrong with that.
Now MK's school happened to have a very interesting extra-curricular activity. It was so big that it was at the core of the school culture. You must be wondering what this was; well, it included fitness drills and self defense. I blame it on watching too much Bruce Lee movies. Get this from me, every young man has at one time dreamt pulling Bruce Lee moves; or getting anywhere close to having Arnold Schwarzenegger's biceps. Then there was the WWF sensation - now WWE; I mean the kids had many sources of inspiration to draw from.
Now MK's stories were full of characters. If MK's depiction of them is anything to go by, then you know they were not type of guys you'd want to mess with. Now this is where MK's bragging would begin. In a typical story, MK would pick a character; let's call him McButch. And he would begin to narrate how bad-ass this guy was. MK takes his time. You could hear the air friction in his punch for instance - kung-fu style. You are now looking at this guy, who is probably a professional kick-boxer - as a reminder, the guy is a high school kid; MK's story says different. MK is not bragging, is he? Not yet. Just stay with me.
MK is about to enter scene. So, he will not try to convince you that he could take out McButch. Not MK. He is too smart for that. He would pick one incident. Now in this incident, there is a little misunderstanding between him, and McButch. The misunderstanding then becomes a stand-off - a near confrontation; after a few exchange of words, McButch walks away, like to say, 'whatever'. Boom! MK's done. The message is home. He actually faced-off McButch! Who actually walked it off. And there, you have a little more respect for MK. He's does with very little effort. Without bragging. Expect occasionally mentioning that he could casually go down 50 push-ups - as a by-the-way. I don't know about you but I used to find that very genius.
As I had observed before, I reitatirate that it's not a good thing to brag. But if you must, do it like MK!