Dogma, an absolute belief in a set of ideas, is the enemy of both faith and reason. Those who preach from the pupil of certainty and refuse to give an inch to doubt are zealots who have closed their minds to anything outside of their ideology. Religion and science are both susceptible to dogmatic thinkers, arrogance leads people into the narrow lane of arrogance which then leads to friction. At the root of war is hubris; the default mode of humanity it seems is to subjugate others and for people to impose their will on others.
Pride precedes destruction. From the dawn of time, humanity has feared an Apocalypse and the end of life as we know it. If that time ever comes, I am pretty sure it will not be God who will end us. Our arrogance and the need to conquer lands and souls alike will be the source of our undoing. We are growing more and more conceited from an individual and collective perspective; as technology advances, our need to be God is growing along with each successive generation. The words “I don’t know” have become a plague to avoid; most are intent on proving they know it all as everyone wants to be professors but few want to be students. Think about it, when encountered with a question, how often do you hear people say “I don’t know”?
We would rather ask Google and then pretend that we are Imhotep reincarnated—artificial intelligence is killing real knowledge. I have a love/hate relationship with the internet for this reason; Ghion Journal is dependent on IT yet what I write about in a lot of ways is about unity and togetherness—technology gets in the way of what I stand for. Yet I have faith that in time social media will be used not to splinter us and put humanity behind the bunkers of exceptionalism but to actually advance human compassion and oneness. If we are ever to get to that point, if we are to realize a state of coexistence in our lifetime, it will only happen once we tame our egos and seek humility instead of trying to prove eminence.
We as humans are not the center of this universe. We are a speck of a speck of a dot on this earth let alone the vast open space beyond our planet. Let us learn to admit we don’t know it all; both science and religion should admit limitations. I believe in an awesome God personally, but my faith is not grounded in absolutism for I have doubt that coexists with my belief. Faith is believing in spite of evidence, I don’t need evidence in order for me to acknowledge the creator of this universe. My refusal to believe with certitude will upset some religious people and the fact that I said I have faith will likewise rankle atheists. Without knowing it, both extremes are wedded to each other for both ends are driven by a fanatic belief in their ideology.
What we believe should be within not without; we should spend less time trying to convert others to think like us and instead have conversations with open minds. When you lead with an extended hand instead of closed fists, the abundance of this universe will embrace you with innumerable blessings. We can gain the ability to prophesize and the knowledge of King Solomon but without love all we will ever find is emptiness and barrenness. It is easy to fight hate with hate and to take on arrogance with yet more arrogance; the harder path—yet the one that bears the most fruit—is to be kind to one another. Love is the only way we can defeat hate; humility is better than arrogance. #PrecariousArrogance
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” ~ Saint Augustine
If you appreciate the message behind this write up and you too choose humility above arrogance, share this article on social media using #PrecariousArrogance
Check out the Ghion Cast below where I talk about my own journey from arrogance to humility, I promise I’m not preaching, it’s more like a conversation. Have a wonderful day.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
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