Authenticity

by Tom Swift

Self-importance is not the way of the true philosopher. Nobody enjoys the company of a braggart. Therefore, don’t oppress people with dramatic stories of your own exploits. Nobody cares that much about your war stories and dramatic adventures, though they may indulge you for a while to appear polite. To speak frequently and excessively of your own achievements is tiresome and pompous.

You don’t need to be the class clown. Nor do you need to resort to other indelicate methods in order to convince others you are clever, sophisticated, or affable.

-Epictetus, Manual for Living (1994, Sharon Lebell translation)