In all the Greek stories of reverence lost and regained, humanity is at issue. You can forget your humanity in either of two ways: by taking on the airs of a god, or by acting like a beast of prey. Either way, you come back to reverence when you recover a sense of your humanity in common with others. And the others in these stories are usually people you were tempted to regard as inferior–foreigners you happen to have conquered, children who (in your judgment) do not know as much as you do, or just plain citizens who (you think) out to accept your leadership without a fuss.
A reverent soul listens to other people even when they are inferior; that is a large part of remembering that you are human together with them.
–Paul Woodruff, Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue
- Being human when surrounded by Greek gods, by M. J. Lee (humanisticpaganism.wordpress.com) — no, seriously, check this one out if you like your virtue readings mixed with Greek mythology.