This Maxim could also be read as ‘Keep yourself from hubris’ because of the word in it that is translated here as ‘insolence’. But, no matter how you translate the words from the Ancient Greek, the meaning of this Maxim remains the same. We are to keep ourselves from thinking that we are the be-all and end-all of existence and keep remembering that we are merely mortals. The Maxim”Think as a Mortal”applies here. Examples of insolence abound in our modern society – as recent sporting scandals have shown where the guilty have thought themselves beyond the law.
When we think of ourselves as better than our fellow men we open ourselves up to hubris and it is this tendency within ourselves that the Maxim would have us avoid. One way we can do it is to remind ourselves that while we may be better at a particular thing than others, others will always be better at other things than we are. It is when we acknowledge this that we are the least likely to fall victim to hubristic thinking. We need to always remember that we are not divinities and because of this we cannot be perfect beings. We need to dedicate ourselves to always improving so that we can be the best we can humanlybe – but we need to always recognize that the source of our talents IS divine and honor that so that we are NOT insolent.