Hubris is dangerous. Life is finicky. People are persnickety. Society is prejudiced. Combined, these form a dangerous combination. Assuming life does not equate to character, nothing alone can do damage. Combined, the results are deadly. Since the latter three are inevitable, let’s try to avoid the first. Easy to do? Really?
Here’s the thing: you don’t have to be arrogant to have hubris. The most common, and the most pathetic form of hubris is hubris in retrospect. I used to think we learn history to prevent us from walking down already trodden dead ends but it turns out, we’ve done little to improve. That’s what history is isn’t it? We fancy ourselves smarter and more capable than the previous generation to handle our futures and the future of our interlinked societies but the blatant truth is, our moral values haven’t changed much. Sure there’s democracy and all that but how do we know what other people think? That test you got perfect on? Do you know your friend is jealous of you? That slight twinge of joy when others fail, do you know when that happens to people. Here’s another question: do you know when that happens to YOU? I know this because it’s what I feel. Before you reprimand me for being a sad and bitter person, I get the privilege of asking (or should I say daring) you to admit that you don’t. Don’t play the cowardice dice with me; it’s so easy to say anything with the anonymity of the web huh?
What history is, is that we view life in retrospect from what I call a ‘bird’s eye view’. Amidst the chaos, you can’t really see much. Now pretend you’re a bird. Pretend that you’re lifting off the ground. Your view gets clearer and clearer as you rise higher and higher until the sound of shoving and yelling dissipates into fresh air. Now, you can see miles and miles from all directions. All people are equal. An old man falls and nobody helps him to get up. Another man nears him and it seems like he’s going to help. People stare at him. He shudders and leaves. Later, he is reprimanded by his peers and is deemed as a moral coward. Can you honestly say that you won’t do the same thing in his position? I don’t know, I admit that I always underestimate the gravity of peer pressure. On this level, I really admire Chelsea Handler for always stating the blatant truth. She is the polar opposite of those phony politicians with their whitened smiles and faces masked with promise of lies. We think that we are too smart to trek down the same doomed road but after all the extra twists and turns, its where we end up. The difference is that some of us realize it, and some of us don’t. Therefore, history is a circle. It’s a cycle of never-ending generations of people making the same type of mistakes over and over again. Its funny, we ridicule it and then we go back to our own little bubble.
Some things are inevitable; pride is one of them. Every person on Earth is self-centered to an extent. I’m not saying that’s bad or wrong. I’m not saying we should fight it. I’m saying it would be amazing and revolutionary if we did but no matter what, we should always admit our weaknesses. Admitting means acceptance at some level which is a teensy weensy step to improvement. This is why I fully believe in our potential to become morally superior than the previous generation. Actually, my opinion is very paradoxical because I don’t think the character of mankind can change yet, I believe it can. For me, there are some things in life that you have to believe in. It doesn’t matter what the truth is, you have to believe in goodness. Sometimes, believing is the only thing that makes us different from a pessimist. We only have this life. Might as well enjoy it.