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Arrogance destroys a society

We have been brought up in a society where individual is encouraged. It is good because it helps to build confidence in ourselves. We build and voice our opinions, backed by sound reasoning. Sometimes we also take up activities that people discourage us to do, just because we like or want to pursue that activity. This is good, because it promotes agency. However, problems come when we become rigid, and stick to the same views, thoughts, or ideas. Such form of individualism could destroy a society. We can call it ego or arrogance.

On the personal level, arrogance is like a boomerang with needles surrounding it. When you throw it, you don't feel anything because you choose where you hold the boomerang from. However, after you throw it, the boomerang comes back to you, but you wouldn't have control of where you catch it. Most of the time, you will not catch the boomerang back at its same position. So, you'll be pricked and hurt by the needles most of the time. Arrogance is like that too.

For example, as a doctor, you misdiagnose a patient. Of course this is an extreme example. The patient doesn't die, but developed symptoms not associated with your diagnosis. When the patient comes back and tell you that your diagnosis could be wrong, you retorted by asking who the doctor is. That arrogance of yours took over you and did not allow you to see the whole picture, that something could have gone wrong to the patient. Because of your arrogance, you held on to your belief that your diagnosis is correct and did not consider that the patient is still suffering.

Another example of such arrogance that is closer to our relationships is authority. Although people may be acquaintances or friends, if one of them clings on to authority, like being a staff of an organization, it breaks the relationship between friends. Statements like "No, I am a staff member, you have to listen to me.", "You're only in this company or club for so little time. Don't tell me what to do", or "You don't know anything because you are from a different area" may influence Person A to think that Person B has changed or became arrogance because of the entitlement given to him. Person B may sometimes be unreasonable or wrong, but Person A could not do anything because of the authority given to Person A.

Hence the above situation breaks out into demonstrations, protests, violence, marches, and other parades to demonstrate their concerns and distress on the societal level. The nature of these parades involves numerous emotions, mostly out of resentment, hate, anger, pride, ego, and arrogance. Parade demonstrators may tell us, "No, I have my right to do this". It is alright to say that, but the way that they say, constitutes arrogance, much like the doctor telling the patient "I am the doctor, you are the patient". This occurs on both sides of the party. Both of them insists their stand, while not listening to the other party. Although they may hear the other party, understand the words they are saying, they don't understand them. It is like the story of a rabbit and a dog competing to see who is the fastest. While they chase each other around, neither wants to give in. After many days and weeks of chasing, both animals become exhausted, and died because their hearts gave out.

In our relationships with people, whether it on the work, personal, or societal level, we have to put down our arrogance and ego. It is true that we will sometimes lose out if we do that, but what did we lose out on? If we think about it, we lose our arrogance, ego, and pride. Sometimes it is good to lose, however we do not see losing arrogance, ego, and pride as a good thing because we identify ourselves with it. Hence, when conflicts arise, we do not give in, we do not become polite, we do not become humble.

Thus if we want our relationships and society to be better, on our part, we have to learn to be humble, be polite, and give in. Much as we do not want to, this could take several days, weeks, months, or even years to do that. However, for the better society, we must start with ourselves, and the relationships that surround us.

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