Apparently, arrogance is defined as overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner towards inferiors (derived from the freedictonary.com). And when I started asking around what other people thought about the word ‘arrogance’, there was an equal feedback of the positive and negative meaning of it. When I say positive and negative here, I am not meaning to say that either is good or bad; more of a general perception of what people would naturally accept as good, and the other as bad.
So the negative feedback was as what I mentioned. And the positive feedback were confidence, surety, ‘got character’. And I begin to wonder if there is a difference in both the positive and negative feedbacks that I’ve received, except for one’s holding on to the stronger meaning of what the word would resonate with him or her.
I remember when I once received a comment ‘Practice Humility’ in one of my earlier blog entries, I was really surprised. I could not understand what this anonymous person meant. I researched the definitions of the word ‘humility’ – some defined as being humble (which is the opposite of arrogance), some defined as trusting. See? Two parts to it; which is right?
Soon, I discovered who this anonymous person was. I asked him ‘humbly’ what he meant by that, he explained that when one (in this case, me) learns or receive so much information, it is vital not to over share with people, and in this case again, in my blog. I found it funny and at the same time, felt curious. I am very clear of my intentions when I post my entries. I just feel joy! And these entries are just for me! I post it because I feel joyful! There is nothing to it. And like what my bestie shared with me once, “it’s like buying a book from the bookstore. You read it and realize that you don’t like the author’s writing style or the story and you go back to the author to either ask him to change his writing style or storyline, or ask for a refund. It’s ridiculous!” At one point, I totally agree with her. So quite rudely, I could argue, it’s MY blog; if you don’t like what I write, then go f*#k spiders!
But is that the appropriate way to deal with what has already arisen in me? I would only be defending an idea that I have been attacked by the world; by avenging the world in a similar way. How could there be peace in the never-ending cycle of attack and defense?
And yesterday, someone expressed to me that he felt there was a sense of arrogance when I dealt with him and reminded that it was important for me to develop compassion for others. It was very shocking. I am speaking of someone really close to my heart here. As I reread our chats, our text messages or emails altogether (I have a tendency to re-check what had been transpired before deleting them), I could not see in any way, how I had worded my sentences arrogantly or pridefully. With confidence – yes; with clear intentions – yes; with surety – yes; with sincerity – yes; then how and where did arrogance in the form of superiority come in? It was indeed disheartening and thus left me feeling sad because he said that he was sad. I just felt misunderstood.
Of course, thoughts are just thoughts. They come and they go. But since curiousity has emerged, I might as well walk with it, to see where it would lead me. Sure enough, it led me into another space of unworthiness, albeit a different part of it -the unworthiness to stand in my own space, or in my own confidence. Never mind that I was clear of my intentions and sincerity in my functions to myself and others; I had too, a stint of unworthiness accompanying my writings, sharing or functions. There is like two parts of me; one that is sincere, confident, sure and clear; and yet another part of me which is afraid to admit that.
So whatever others think or perceived of what I say or share is beyond my control; and whatever others say to or share with me too is beyond my control; but if I am triggered, it is only of my own to resolve.
To share a note on compassion, it is defined as a deep awareness of and sympathy for another’s suffering (obtained from freedictionary.com too). So I wonder, how do I develop compassion for others when I view others as perfectly fine as they are. Even if someone were to come up to me and tell me about their problems, I’d just share what I am inspired to share! If they doubt what I say, or refuse to accept what I say, I’d laugh and say, ‘fine! Continue suffering!’ and I do not mean that in a sarcastic way, but as a matter-of-factly – and really, there is nothing wrong with it – suffering, I mean. If I see that your ‘suffering’ is bad, whose problem is it?
Having said that, there are times where I do feel deep compassion for some, but that ‘compassion’ often comes from the space of ‘pity’, seeing others as victim. But understanding that no one is out there, save for my own projection, who is really the victim here?
No compassion is needed for others when we ourselves do not have compassion for ourselves. What compassion we give to ourselves, is already compassion given to others. If I don’t like what I see in you; that is my problem – and if I tell you what I think of you, and then tell you what I think you should do – I am telling you, please come solve my problem; which is impossible. I only need to take care of myself, and the world will be taken care of.