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Arrogance of power

columns Updated: Oct 01, 2013 01:09 IST
PP Wangchuk
PP Wangchuk
Hindustan Times

One shouldn't be proud of pride. Pride, prejudice and power are instruments of arrogance; and arise from not being in touch with the reality. Ignorance gives rise to such abnormalities of behaviour.

There is a Greek word, 'Hubris', which is an umbrella word for all such features of arrogance of power. What happens is that because of ignorance, people in high positions overestimate their own capabilities and they ignore the ground reality.

As Swiss psychiatrist CG Jung, who founded analytical psychology, said, "Through pride, we are deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience, a still, small voice says, 'something is out of tune' ".

Pride takes its owner for a woeful ride to doom. It intoxicates you into believing what you feel, say and do is the ultimate truth. The moment you get to such a pass, your undoing begins.

It is important that one must remain always full of humility, the way Gandhi and many other world leaders did and won the people's acceptability and respect. Humility inspires loyalty, unity and teamwork for greater achievements in life; it takes both the leader and the followers together forward on to the path of progress.

Humility is an expression of one's love, compassion and friendship towards others; and it is not a sign of weakness or any other failing. It helps one to deal with others without a prejudiced mind.

People with humility are people with strong willpower and the courage of conviction. They know no art of exhibition of their power of humility. They are silent workers, interested only in the good of all.

There is another Greek word, 'narcissism', that goes well with people with lack of humility. The story goes that demi-god Narcissus, full of pride, prejudice and arrogance, fell in love with his own reflection! Such people refuse to listen and live in a false world of their own. History is full of examples of kings, presidents and prime ministers having fallen by the wayside because of their egoistic lifestyle.