The Arrogance of the “Enlightened Fool”

May 15, 2013

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve acted in ridiculous, immature, even aggressive fashion when making a stand for positive, high-minded ideals.

It’s just soooo tempting to scorch another’s ignorant absurdities with a blast of my own passionate fire (I blame it partly on the hot Spanish 25% of my blood).

But we all know that scenario doesn’t generally play out well.

If I can’t live at least leaning in towards my ideals, what good are they?

[dt_quote type=”blockquote” font_size=”big” animation=”none” background=”plain”]If I’m being judgmental, arrogant and antagonistic while making a stand for being open-minded, loving, and tolerant … well, I am just acting a crazy hypocrite.[/dt_quote]

I’m certainly not making a credible stand for anything positive and high-minded when I’m telling a friend or my dad or a colleague just how flawed and ridiculous their ideas are, even if they are flawed and ridiculous. I’m also NOT in that moment creating the world I want to live in. Actually, In most ways it seems I’m just demonstrating the ignorance I’m railing against.

In such a moment, I’m certainly contributing one more crazy fool to the world: Me.

Thankfully, I’m learning to go easy on myself when this happens.

I’m also learning to apologize for this “arrogance of the enlightened fool.

Even if I just KNOW I was in the right before I ridiculoused things up by acting a fool, a quick, sincere apology for my hopefully brief moment of hypocrisy often seems to go farther towards demonstrating what I was trying to say in the first place than what I was actually saying.

Apologies also work wonders to create deeper intimacy, trust, and connection with the people I love, and that’s a whoooole lot juicier than successfully vanquishing their ideas and winning admiration for my own (which rarely happens with force, anyway).

It can be the most delicious thing in the world to let people believe whatever they want to believe, even if it just seems like negative malarkey to me.

“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.”
~ Peace Pilgrim

 

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