Character defects and self improvement

Writing on the topic of modesty versus the narcissism and self indulgence of our current culture David Brooks, who exemplifies modesty in his speech and writings wrote,

"Most of all, there will have to be a return to modesty.
In a famous passage, Reinhold Niebuhr put it best: “Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope. ... Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.”
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