Mistaking Silence for Humility

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Recently I came across a brilliant web animation article written by a Web Animation Weekly reader. I was surprised that the post had been out for awhile but wasn’t in the newsletter’s submissions queue. I’d only stumbled across it by pure serendipity. I reached out to the author personally to ask why she didn’t submit her article directly to Web Animation Weekly? She replied that she was worried it would seem too self-promotional or pushy if she sent her article in herself.

This is not the first time this has happened. That’s a real tragedy.

We are taught to be humble, that good people lift others up while putting themselves down. But this world is not built to reward humility. For every person who mistakes their own silence for humility, a dozen more will pedal useless rehashes in hopes of attention. And they get it. It’s hard to curate a newsletter, a conference, an art gallery when the best entries never show.

If you’re shy about submitting your work to any event or publication, remember: it’s not self-promotion if you’re genuinely trying to help the community. Pushing the community up doesn’t mean pushing yourself down. If your work can make a difference, but people can’t find it because you’re worried about how it makes you look, your humility transmutes into a problem of pride.

There is no shame in sharing good work. It is my sincere hope that more people will see that, and that the quiet folk who toil in shadows while louder people push their own agenda will start putting forth ideas of their own into the world.

Because what we need are more good ideas from quiet folk.

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