Archives For Humility

Hubris and Humility

November 16, 2012 — 2 Comments

In my last post, I was tough on the President––I hope I was fair. From my perspective, nothing good can come from his arrogance. I’m going to continue this theme of hubris (excessive pride) and humility in today’s post as it relates to my life. As a prelude, you might want to read the earlier one here.

humilityPlease understand, one should never excuse the failings of pride but it’s a significant aspect of the human condition. I, for one, can empathize with those who succumb to it. And don’t we all to some degree?

As a non-theologian who’s trying to build daily on his body of Catholic knowledge, I realized early in my blogging life that my value-add to the Christian community would be lessons learned from my experiences in business, the military and in life. I’ve been blessed with a lot of them.

They’re also a prominent part of my book A Leaf on Water: An Atheist’s Fall to Grace, which hopefully won’t be published posthumously. Not that I’m sick or dying but getting a book published is like sculpting Jell-O with a feather. As a nobody––a not someone––it takes forever unless I happen to be piggybacking on some nefarious, salacious conduct in my past with a famous person.

I wonder if ____________ would count?

Back on point El Libertino.

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It only took one press conference to rouse me.

I wrote about the subject of arrogance and Presidents prior to the election––and I’ll repeat some of it here––but it still has my attention. Is arrogance an easy or difficult label to apply to President Obama and is that solely a function of one’s political leaning? Or is confidence propelling his assured pace through the waters of turmoil. If one is being truthful, I think it’s an easy assessment and for me, it isn’t dictated by politics.

drowningMore to the point, we have big doings going on in this country and the world so the question of Presidential arrogance is germane in my humble view. Does a leader’s attitude of superiority matter at all? Can President Obama drown in his own arrogance––and by extension, we the people––or is he simply swimming in confidence?

Let me begin as I’m a bit of an expert. You see, I know arrogance. As a former Marine fighter pilot, I used to think I was the chosen one. Fearless and indestructible, I never imagined making a mistake. Even when guys around me were crashing and dying due to their own blunders, I never thought it would happen to me.

After transitioning to the business world, this mindset continued as I worked with the best and the brightest––always feeling right at home with my “peers.”

I was special. Clearly.

As events unfolded through the years, as mistakes compounded in both my professional and personal life, I learned that I wasn’t so special. Not even close.

Therefore, I have to ask. Regarding President Obama, is arrogance a character trait that requires scrutiny? Is he arrogant and is that necessarily a bad thing for the Commander-in-Chief? As well, does he believe himself smart enough and knowledgeable enough to solve the problems of America?

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I know arrogance. As a former Marine fighter pilot, I used to think I was the chosen one. Fearless and indestructible, I never imagined making a mistake. After transitioning to the business world, this mindset continued as I worked with the best and the brightest––always feeling right at home with my “peers.”

I was special. Clearly.

Arrogance-W

As events unfolded through the years, and as mistakes compounded, I learned that I wasn’t so special. Not even close.

Therefore, I have to ask. Once again we’re about to elect a President. Regarding the two candidates, is arrogance a character trait that demands scrutiny?

Leaving Romney for another day, I’ll focus on President Obama. Is he arrogant and is that necessarily a bad thing? As well, does he believe himself smart enough and knowledgeable enough to solve the problems of America?

Three definitions are in order. Pride from the secular perspective is a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements. Arrogance is unwarranted pride, having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities. Finally, Catholic Catechetical pride is one of the seven capital sins. This pride is undue self–esteem or self–love, which seeks attention and honor and sets oneself in competition with God.

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