By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Suspending Pride

The Tower of BabelImage via Wikipedia
We should all wish to be in touch with reality. Yet, experience shows, that many do not wish to be in touch with reality. In many dysfunctional situations, the human mind often takes the route of denial with great boldness and skill--the terrible childhood actually becomes "a great childhood," alcoholism becomes "joviality" or a "way to relax," slutty behavior becomes "expressing love" or "being nice to others," the abusive spouse (who can be male or female) suddenly becomes worthy of defending against any objective, negative evaluations, etc.

With certain personalities, there is even the strong, prideful belief that they are more in touch with reality than others. I recall one instance in which the individuals actually thought of themselves as quite wise, prudent, and perceptive--yet, my considered conclusion was that they were profoundly clueless about many, many things. They literally could not see the human reality under their noses. Yet, they viewed themselves as insightful people worthy of leading, guiding, instructing, and counseling others.

Docility is a great virtue. It means being open to learning from others. It involves listening. It requires suspending belief in our own self-sufficiency in many matters and recognizing that we do not have it all figured out in life--even if we are middle-aged or older, even if we make a high income, even if we think of ourselves as "successful." Listen; and, if the other is giving you nonsense, then, of course, reject it. But, be sure to suspend pride and denial in order to be docile and teachable because all of us always have a lot to learn for our own benefit and that of others. Suspending pride, suspending our smug illusion of knowing it all are keys to being docile and teachable and to growing in maturity. I see this smugness among many who are in middle age. But, lo and behold, I even see it in people in their early twenties. Pride is the default human condition for all ages. Suspend it for your own good and for the good of others.
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