I have just read “The Book of Joy” by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. (with Douglas Carlton Abrams). And I felt so uplifted that I needed to write a blog inspired by their thoughts.
The authors remind us of the universal and ancient wisdom that joy can only be found within ourselves. It is not about loads of money, the next promotion, a bigger house or achieving any kind of self-centred goals.
We know that, but the human race seems to be in need of a constant reminder. If we had lived by that reminder both humanity and the planet would have been in a much better state.
The book is centred on what they call the pillars of joy. In this blog I will mention one them: humility.
Stress and anxiety comes from too much expectation and too much ambition. It is a very self-centred attitude
Arrogance is lack of humility.
In the world of aid and development there is a lot of fighting over status and importance. But, trying to make yourself or your team feel special and superior will not take you very far. It is driven by egocentricity or fear and will alienate you from others; also, it will make you very lonely.
We have all encountered arrogance. Probably, we have acted arrogantly on several occasions ourselves (I am guilty) or we have unintentionally been perceived as arrogant. Arrogance is always an expression of insecurity. We try to conceal our vulnerability and self-doubt through a false panzer of confidence. The problem is of course that most people see through it, and we end up fooling no one.
Instead of defending yourself with some bad excuse, admit your mistake, lack of knowledge or whatever you try to hide and see what happens. Do not blame anybody else. Blaming is childish, and similar to children fighting: “He started it”.
And do not say, “ I will not blame anybody else, but…” because that is exactly what you do when you put in that “but”.
So the next time you feel scared or overwhelmed try to be audacious and choose humility instead. When I admit that I do not know, it is usually, with a few exceptions, been received well. Then of course you try and find an answer to the question and get back to the ones who asked you.
Even if you are not the best one, you may be the one who is needed or the one who is there
Arrogant people have less fun
I have not yet met an arrogant person who is well liked, balanced and harmonious. Be it in my part of the world or on the other side of the planet. It is universal.
Being arrogant takes a lot of drain. It is like acting without being a trained actor. You have to be alert all the time; otherwise people will find you out. It is not easy to become and stay friends with anyone that way.
Arrogant people simply do not experience much joy.
Keep that as a reminder next time you encounter a haughty, bumptious co-worker; it is good to know, however insufferable he might be, that this is a very insecure person. Also keep it as a note to yourself when you have an urge to belittle others (we all do it at times) or you just want to impress.
On the other hand, if you are humble you can relax and have joy. People may laugh at you but you have already made so many jokes about yourself that it doesn’t matter.
Humble – Not Docile
Being humble it not the same as being threaded on, though. You can still stand up for yourself when needed, but you regard yourself as an equal human being, not someone special, entitled to special treatment. That is a true sign of maturity. And humanity needs to grow up and realize that what is good for us in the long run, also brings us true joy. A humble attitude towards our precious planet, and towards each other would be a good start.
By the way, does any of you happen to know the person living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. , U.S.A. ? If you do, please give him a call and recommend Desmond Tutu and Dalai Lama´s book to him.
One of Desmond Tutu’s jokes:
“My lord, I’ve been looking in the library to find a book on humility.” The bishop said: “ Oh, yes, I’ve written the best book on the subject.”