Tag Archives: inspirational

Hubris

 

It’s a funny old word, not widely used but I think we see way too many examples of it every day.  The Great Sage GOOGLE says:

hu·bris

/ˈ(h)yo͞obrəs/

noun

  1. excessive pride or self-confidence.

“the self-assured hubris among economists was shaken in the late 1980s”

synonyms:

arrogance, conceit, conceitedness, haughtiness, pride, vanity, self-importance, self-conceit, pomposity, superciliousness, feeling of superiority.

  • (in Greek tragedy) excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to punishment.

 

I am a big believer in confidence. We need to be confident in our daily activities, in our workplace and in ourselves. But sometimes that confidence becomes inflated and the result is hubris. And the way in which we experience it can sometimes be hilarious.

Have you ever been in a bar and spent your time watching what the other people are doing? Of course, one must do this with at least a beer in hand so as not to appear to be a pervert. Put away your camera phone and I would suggest that you not take notes. As you were watching them, the bartender is quite possibly taking note of you. Try explaining this to the police!

But I digress. In any large group of people, especially where alcohol is involved, they’ll always be at least one peacock. An individual who believes that he, or she, is the pinnacle of human evolution. They will prance, yes I said prance, around expecting adulation. They never for one moment think that they are anything less than perfection.

Some people are able to go through their entire lives believing in their perfection. It is quite sad when reality sets in. But not unexpected. After all, Society is the one who feeds in to this idea of hubris. We don’t let our children see reality. We coddle them and praise them, as we should, but they also need to know that failure does happen. We need to understand failure in order to appreciate success. I read a story many years ago about a grandfather who took his small grandson skating. When they were on the ice the older man lifted his arms and said “fall down” the child did just that. This happened several times in a row and the child asked why his beloved grandfather was making him fall down. The answer was simple: “You need to learn that it’s okay to fall down. When you’re not afraid of failure you can truly succeed.”

Our children need to learn that it’s okay to fail. It is part of the equation which leads to success. You are not ‘less than’ if you don’t succeed the first time, you’re simply on the learning curve. We need to let people, children, know what failure is like. Otherwise we will create a society with way too much hubris and not enough compassion.

The lessons we learn as children mold us into the adults we will become.

 

A Political Statement

 

 

A political statement

Needs to be heard,

By people who matter

Not lines that are blurred.

 

Trust is an issue

And what’s good for us all,

Not perks for a few

And the rest to the wall.

 

I want to feel safe

And valued as one,

Not facing the barrel

Of an anger fuelled gun.

 

Why is the question

So hard to discern ?

Speak from the heart

With a voice of concern!

 

Lives are what matter

We all are as one,

That is the day when

We will have won.

 

You are important

And I am as well,

That’s the first step

The hate we must quell.

 

This fight must be forward

Our world is being slammed.

No arguments between us

Politics be damned!

A Luddite Wanna Be?

 

For years that has been what I have been claiming.  I may need to rethink that statement.  Perhaps a little context . . .

Luddites were a loosely based organization of English textile workers in the 19th century who protested against the use of machines.  They were afraid of losing their jobs.  Sound familiar? Protests turned violent, property and people were destroyed.

As so often happens, the movement was co-opted decades later to serve another purpose.  People have used it as a rallying cry against all technology.  It is this cry that forecasts the evils of technology and the demise of modern society.  I beg to differ.

We live longer than we did in the 1800’s. We have cured diseases that once decimated entire communities. We have explored our world and beyond.  Life is good.  Or it could be.  We have unleashed rampart greed and cynicism.  We have generations of lazy users who only want more and someone else to pay for it.  People are dying from diseases we have cured simply because of apathy and avarice.

We are all connected because of technology but that same connectivity is forcing an isolation on us.  We would rather speak into a box than talk openly to a real person. We have lost so much.  Cyber-crimes are common place and picnics are not. The only place you seem to find a large group of people talking to each other is in protests which far too often turn violent.

I remember the days when I would go camping in the wilderness. There was no shower, no bathroom, no convenience store nearby. If you were cold, light a fire. If you wanted light, light a fire. If you were hungry, you guessed it, light a fire. There were no cell phones or Wi-Fi or big screen TVs. We carried snake bite kit’s, just in case. We did have battery operated flashlights for those midnight jaunts to relieve one’s bladder. You did not want to squat down without first checking that there was no poison oak nearby or a hungry rattlesnake out for snack. Yes, it was that kind of camping. And I loved it.

I also love flush toilets and heating and air conditioning and my computer. Well, I loved being in circumstances with no technology but I also recognized that I cannot live that way anymore. I need technology. But it also frightens me. We rely so much on it that we don’t think anymore. A quip I wrote a few years ago: “Kids today don’t have to think, there’s an app for that.” In some ways is not really that funny, it’s true.

I live in a technologically savvy world. I’m not savvy but I do require the technology. I will live with it but I will not forget that it is a tool. Tools need to be used responsibly and then put away. The real world is just outside your front door. No, I do not want to be a Luddite. However . . .