December 19, 2006

Horse 692 - Arrogant Prat!

Who are you to me?

I found this picture contained within a PDF of a prospectus for a merchant bank who is fast gaining a reputation for buying up everything. The accompanying caption is "Stand tall on your opposition". Now I don't necessarily think that I'd enjoy being friends with this person, for the simple reason that I suspect that I might be stood on, beaten down and left behind. There is a word for this: Arrogance.

Such a brilliant word. The word itself conjures up images of flying higher than everyone, that sensation that the world is somehow beneath us. It is a sneaky thing, sometimes it flies in through a half-checked window and like The Raven quoths Nevermore.

You come down the stairs in the morning and notice shoes lying on the kitchen floor. Then you look closer and notice that they are your shoes. Will you pick them up? No. That's the job of someone else. Then you see garbage lying by the back door, garbage that's been there for a day, or two. Will you take it out? No. That's the job of someone else.

We're in traffic and going to make a left turn. Common courtesy says to put on our blinker, to let the person in the car behind us know that we're going to be turning. Do we? No. Who are they to me? We're entering the front door of some store somewhere, and you notice some strangers behind you. Do you hold the door open for them? "Why should I?" you wonder to yourself. "Who are they to me?" We're tired and we start to yawn. Do we cover our mouth? No. So what if others are staring right at us, seeing our tonsils? Who are they to me?

Arrogance says, "Yes, I always have to be right." And so we stand our ground even on small matters, matters of little consequence. Even if no one asks for it, we always point out when others are wrong.

Arrogance also sneaks in when we have different agendae than the people around us. For instance, where are we going to eat today? What are we going to watch on TV? Where are we going to go on holiday this summer? What color should our house be? What kind of car should we buy? More importantly, who is going to get the old car? Arrogance says "It's my way or the highway. We will eat where I want to eat. We will watch what I want to watch. We will go on holiday where I want to go on holiday. And you can be darn sure that I'll be driving the new car."

Arrogance can sneak in when other people have success. Because arrogant people really don't like when others have success. In fact, we put down other people's accomplishments. We see flaws in other people's achievements. And we belittle other things that people are proud of. We certainly don't lavish praise on them.

Arrogance can sneak in also whenever we encounter people who are different than us. The laborers who mow the lawns and tend the gardens and care for the council parks. If we are not careful, it doesn't take long for this arrogance to slip into our psyche. It is an arrogance that comes from status. The checkout operator at the supermarket, the guy who comes to fix the phones, the lady who runs the bank, the person at the coffee shop - are any of them really less valuable?

Finally arrogance can sneak into our minds when we are being penalized or punished. Arrogant people don't believe the rules apply to them and when they get busted for breaking the rules, they don't believe they should be punished. So, they fight the speeding ticket even though they know they were speeding. They bad mouth the boss even though they knew they broke a rule.

I hate pride and arrogance. - Proverbs 8:13

This should be the last word on the matter. Arrogance isn't not only unpretty but is hated by God. I stand on shaky and hated ground. Am I an arrogant prat?

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