A place for everyone… and everyone in their place.
A good friend of mine lost her husband some time ago. While it is a difficult thing to deal with at any age, but I have a few friends who have lost their husbands in their thirties, and this one had just started a family. On a personal note, I always find it difficult to accept that someone is gone in the prime of their life when they have so much ahead of them to give. I know it is difficult to lose someone at any age, but I always find it harder when the person is young.
I should point out now however, that I never really liked this guy. It may sound like an awful thing to say, but I had met him a few times, and I thought he was arrogant and stuck up, and the fact that she was a sweet humble person just got under my skin even more. I will confess that I had much disdain for persons who I thought were arrogant, and in fact for persons who I felt did not share my values. It was a high horse to be perched upon. And just for the record – I fell off of the last horse that I got up onto... And this was no different. Soon I began to hear that he was ill, and then that he has passed away, and I thought about my friend and her young family growing up without their dad, and I felt really heartbroken for them.
As a good person, I decided to go to the funeral. And yes I said as a good person! You can probably imagine that as someone who spent a great deal of time up on her high horse surveying the world below, I did think I was a good person, or at least that is what I aspired to be, and so therefore needed to ensure that I did what good people do. It was in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day, and I had to slip out of work to attend, even though I could not stay for the whole thing, and I did not get to see my friend at all.
I arrived in time to start hearing the tributes, and I was blown away by how this man was described. Stubborn… arrogant… believed he could do things that no one else could… Would not let anyone tell him otherwise… these descriptions were almost exactly how I would have described him. But they were interspersed within his achievements, his progress, his plans for teaching, for education in our country, and for his family.
On the drive back to the office I began to think about this man that I didn’t like. And I began to think about the value of arrogance. All along I realise that I had an opinion in the back of my mind about how arrogant people were awful and needed to be taken down a notch or three. But what if these were the very people who were pushing the boundaries? These people who did not think that the rules applied to them. And what if instead of teaching our children not to be arrogant (something I think about often as I speak to my friends, and sister who all have young impressionable children) what if we let them be exactly who they are, and instead of thinking about crushing their spirit, we channel their sense of right and wrong, and ensure they have good ethics and make good decisions. What if the arrogant people are just the people that we need to dream and execute the impossible dreams? And what if we could all do with a little arrogance in life, and in our approach to our passions and projects?
Most of us allow fear to hold us back from achieving those things which are important to us. We think that someone out there is equipped to do it better, has a better voice and style, has more resources etc. Perhaps this is true… And indeed if we continue to believe this and let this hold us back then it will definitely be true. But what if the arrogant ones are the ones who believe that they are best suited and equipped to do what they put their mind to? And they do it! Wouldn’t it be great if they put their minds towards improving education and healthcare, and bettering the lives of our young people, instead of deceiving, ripping off innocent people, or almost as bad - sitting at home waiting for someone else to get out into the world and do good? The truth is, there is a place for everyone in the world – even the ones we don’t like – and that is today’s lesson.
I learned that I need to stop judging people from my high horse, lest I fall off (as I did from the real horse). Even the arrogant can do good, or maybe I should say especially the arrogant.
One of my 39 lessons as I approach the milestone.
Big Love from a small island.
Ps - I took the photo above when I went on Safari in the Ngoro Ngoro crater in Tanzania. I finally understood why they say a Pride of Lions. Nothing wrong with a little pride...