(Written 12.October.2016; over a year since my previous post)
My son really needs to get out of the house and make some friends.
His views of the world and the current geopolitical climate are more than rudimentary…they’re damn close to an archaic level of barbaric. Oh, and he doesn’t have Facebook., or social media of any kind. They only thing he really likes doing on the internet is watching YouTube videos. And that’s no basis in which to form an educated opinion. This being cooped up is really getting to how he thinks and what he says. He demonstrates just how little he understands every time we talk.
To be fair, he is only one and a half. He can’t even form sentences. And his vocabulary leaves something to be desired. So I guess he gets a pass.
I’m unemployed. Graduate schools don’t want me. And I’m currently attending a trade school for a degree that’s more pragmatic than passionate.
Right now, it feels like I’m basically a younger Jerry, from Rick and Morty. I guarantee you that I’ve had just as brilliant thoughts on breakfast cereal as he has.
So lemmie just tell you, I am having a FIELD DAY with the current election. Do you have any idea how awesome it is to have something else to focus on? Something that detracts from the inner shame and anxiety that are a constant threat to my daily functionality?
Except there’s something altogether different about the distraction this time around, isn’t there? I can’t be the only one that feels it. This time there’s so SO much beyond the “them” that it’s so easily about, right? This time around, it really is about us.
You can see it on Facebook, you can see it when you talk to people (or when people actively avoid talking about it). Something about when things get serious, our true natures come out.
Thankfully, we’re not short on knowing what people think, because everyone is sharing something.
And I fall in that sweet spot of being one of the lucky few who can make the claim that people should listen to me.
I’m white. And I’m a man.
I’m another white man with an asshole.
No, an opinion. I’m another white man with an opinion…I get those two confused all the time (assholes, opinions…everybody’s got one.).
So here’s my opinion on the whole debacle:
ARROGANCE is the single greatest threat to who we are and any interaction we may have with each other.
Let me preface this by saying a few things. For starters, I haven’t voted in this – or any – election since the first time I was allowed to vote. And I don’t have a pony in this race either. You will most certainly find critical posts of one side of this election, but you want find support for the other.
So please don’t assume that because I’m against one, I’m for the other. What I want to address is not either candidate, but how either candidate serves as a reflection of all of us.
Second. I know many would say that humility is an absence of arrogance, but I don’t believe arrogance to be substance. I believe it stems from a lack of substance, an emptiness, a void. Arrogance attempts to fill that void, or deny the void is even there; humility recognizes the void – and whats more – knows that nothing “natural” or occurring in this world can fill it (only something supernatural can).
So humility isn’t an absence of arrogance.
ARROGANCE is an absence of humility.
Lastly, I don’t equate ignorance to arrogance. Just as arrogance is an absence of humility, ignorance is an absence of truth (another void). However, when ignorance willfully chooses to not accept the truth when its present, and instead justifies and rationalizes itself, then ignorance becomes arrogance.
It’s ARROGANCE that assumes if you’re not on “our” side, then you’re on their side; if you’re not “for” us, then you’re for them.
If I’m not for republicans, then I’m for democrats. If I’m not Pro-Life, then I’m Pro-Abortion.
I’ve also been told that since I don’t have a side, and since I’m not voting, I don’t have permission to say anything. I don’t like watching football either, but I can tell you that the Broncos/Falcons game was pretty miserable.
It’s ARROGANCE that thinks voting is a duty, rather than a right.
I have a right to a lot of things in this country, and I exercise that right by not doing them. I have the right to own a gun and I don’t. Does NOT exercising my right to own a gun mean I’m forbidden to discuss gun control (more like, “Gun, Outta Control,” amIright?)?
Mike Rowe said it best: “There’s nothing virtuous or patriotic about voting just for the sake of voting…”
It’s ARROGANCE that says if you can’t change hearts, change laws.
This one is so fascinating to me because the same people that claim to be concerned with people’s hearts believe that the things they hold to be morally reprehensible should be illegal. It fascinates me because these are the people whose beliefs tell them they’re free from “the Law,” and yet the Law is what they want…not for them, mind you, but for those that aren’t them.
Further, I’ve also found these very same people oblivious to the fact that they speak out about things like Sharia Law when they themselves basically want a Christian version of Sharia Law.
It’s ARROGANCE that loudly states it’s Pro-Life, and yet is selective about which lives it’s “pro” for.
I can’t believe we have to argue about how it’s defined, but when it comes to the word, “life,” that should be completely unnecessary. Instead we should struggle over how we fight for life and wrestle with those complicated scenarios where it’s not an easy choice.
If you’re Pro-Life, but are annoyed or upset in any way by the Black Lives Matter movement, are you really Pro-Life? If you’re Pro-Life, but aren’t concerned about Syria, or don’t have compassion on its displaced people, are you really Pro-Life? Anytime you have to say, “I am Pro-Life, but…” you aren’t Pro-Life!*
(*And this isn’t even covering the theological aspect and connotation of Jesus calling Himself, “the Life,” or defining Life as “This is life, that they know you.” In which case, if you were really Pro-Life, you’d do everything you can to not hinder people from knowing God the father.)
So what is arrogance is if what you really are is Anti-Abortion, but think it more of a statement to be “proud of” to say you’re Pro-Life.
It’s ARROGANCE when in order to prove yourself right, others have to be wrong.
This seems to be central to the abortion debate, one which is already muddled by a lack of genuine understanding of the other side.
“The [Pro-Life] leadership is largely male, and most of the women involved have enjoyed lives of relative ease, in which they can sincerely experience each new life as a joy and gift. For these women, perhaps it is shocking and distressing to imagine ever seeking an abortion, because they’ve never been in a situation so dire as to make it look like a viable option.”
“The problem is, the people leading the discussion know very little about what’s going on in the culture where abortion emerges as a “choice,” except for in theory. The leaders of the pro-life movement are, primarily, well-educated middle-class white persons who have been almost completely insulated from the realm of abuse, poverty, and desperation in which this choice occurs. And because the leaders of the pro-choice movement are also well-educated middle-class white persons, it looks to the pro-life leaders as though abortion is being touted by smug comfortable women who obviously must just want to kill their babies for their own convenience. The conversation is happening on our TV screens, as men and women in expensive suits argue over podiums – or in academic journals publishing the findings of sociologists or ethicists writing from well-appointed offices. The reality is hidden from us.” (link to quote)
It’s ARROGANCE to have to even prove yourself right.
There’s right, and there’s wrong. If you believe this, then it exists outside of you (or what’s called, “a universal truth.”). Universal truths do not have to be proven right to be right. They’re right regardless. When you believe it is on you to prove a universal truth, it becomes about you, and ceases to be about the universal truth. And when anything becomes about you, that’s arrogance.
It’s ARROGANCE that says it can only be done your way.
Now understand that I didn’t say the “right” way. Because humility asks for help. And humility understands that people help in different ways. It’s arrogance that says if it’s not done your way, it’s wrong.
ARROGANCE is inconsistent. (In its logic, in its arguments, and just period)
Arrogance will always argue to its favor. Whether it means one moment saying that someone’s personality or life choices don’t matter as long as they’re a good leader, then the next moment calling the other candidate a Satanist.
Should it matter who she worships in her personal time as long as she’s a good leader?
I’m fighting to make America great again! But you know what, all guys talk like that and it’ll never change.
But don’t you want it to change??? Are you going to be okay hearing your son talk like that? If you don’t condemn it now, how great do you really want America to be???
It’s ARROGANCE that shames a person, and a country for something they aren’t a party of.
“That said, I believe it’s important for all of us to realize just how much trouble we’re in. After killing 58 million babies, America now faces impending divine judgment. There is no way out, no way back. The blood of 58 million babies is crying out for justice and they will get it.”
I said before that I carry a lot of shame. I struggle with it. But I didn’t kill 58 million babies.
And what’s more, this isn’t how God’s judgment works. Seriously, this was the same logic of the Dark Ages. They believed they were facing diving judgment then too. Come on, people, we’re better than this.
It’s ARROGANCE that says there hasn’t been damage done, or that it won’t take a long time to repair it.
And it’s not just the political system itself. I’m talking about political parties that no one in the next generation is going to support. And I’m talking about religious institutions that then go on to wonder why they’re failing to reach people.
It’s ARROGANCE that despite everything telling you to adjust your mindset, you continue to “vote party, not person.”
To actively be shown someone that goes against everything you believe as a person, but still believe voting for the opposing party is worse? Really?
ARROGANCE does whatever it can to seem strong rather than admit that it’s afraid and/or confused.
We’re a nation of people that are hurting. We’re a world that’s hurting.
And that’s not an easy thing to accept. It scares us, and confuses us. And I get why so many try however they can to avoid anything that reminds them of that fact. Every morning I open my phone and look specifically at film news, I look at io9’s “Morning Spoilers,” and I look at Screenrant. Throughout the day, I’m consistently avoiding all the thoughts about what’s wrong with my life (which is hard to do when everywhere you look you’re reminded you’re unemployed, your family is barely making ends meet from month to month, and none of what you hoped for is panning out).
I don’t understand it, and it scares me.
And it’s way easier to just say that God is punishing me with his righteous judgment because of my beliefs. Or that God hates me because I’m a false prophet.
At least that would be an answer…
It’s ARROGANCE that presumes it can do something like hide truths from the American people and get away with it.
And if and when the American people do find out, to justify it. Anything brought to the light becomes light. And light is good, it just can blind and hurt for a bit until we adjust our eyes to it.
It’s ARROGANCE that opposes a behavior, only until it’s caught with its own pants down.
Bill Clinton’s sexual behavior is immoral! Impeach him! Get him out of office!
Oh…Donald Trump is just, “one of the guys,” and guys are like that…Put him in office!
It’s ARROGANCE THAT EQUATES BRAGGING ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT TO *MERE* MISOGYNY.
And it’s arrogance that assumes every male talks like that.
And ultimately, it’s ARROGANCE THAT THINKS IT HAS THE RIGHT TO GRAB ANYTHING BY ITS GENITALS.
My kid doesn’t understand these things. And even if I tried explaining it to him, I’d have about as much success as I would someone who believes this is the ultimate battle between good and evil, heaven and hell. It’s about as messed up as being in a hoedown from a Pauly Shore film…which is a modern way of saying it’s like being in Lovecraft’s Mountains of Madness.
But it’s important that when he can understand them, I’m able to explain why it’s so wrong, and what we can do to combat it.
Or maybe I just need to stop feeling like I need to speak, need to speak up, need to have my voice heard, and just concentrate on raising him, on loving him.
Because I have a feeling that it’s less about him hearing it, and more about me saying it.
It’s less about convincing others, and more about being heard.
It’s less about being a voice for those that don’t have one, and more about simply knowing your own voice is heard.
Maybe I’m still just that silenced middle schooler in back of the bus, and all I want is to know I have a voice, and it is heard…
And maybe I’m just as arrogant in my own way, because being loved and loving those in my life isn’t good enough for me; isn’t enough for me.
Because LOVE is that supernatural thing that fills the void.
And it’s just as much arrogance to not allow yourself to be loved, as it is to deny or get upset when someone tells you that your main goal is to do so: to be loved and to loved.
Christians: they’ll know what you are by what?
Humanity: is there any reason to feel arrogant when you know you’re loved? Is there anything you have to fight when you feel you have worth just as you are?
So to my son, I’m sorry I trap myself. I’m sorry that I don’t allow myself to just be present and enjoy you. You’re worth me putting down my laptop, and my phone, and getting out of my head.
I want to do better. I want to live life with you and go out there and grab it by the…*ahem*…
And I promise, I’ll only work on this when you’re taking a nap.