Elul 10, 5779
September 10, 2019
There is a fine line between self-esteem and arrogance, and unless we are paying close attention, we are not always aware when we have crossed that line. Arrogance can lead to judgment, pettiness and even cruelty. It is also a stumbling block to change.
From our Sources
A man of understanding who has acquired more knowledge than the average person, has accomplished nothing more than what his nature impelled him to do, as it is the nature of the bird to fly, or of the ox to pull with all its strength. Hence, if a man is learned, he is indebted to natural gifts which he happens to possess. And any one gifted by nature with a mind like his would be just as learned. The man who possesses great knowledge, instead of yielding to pride and self-esteem, should impart that knowledge to those who are in need of it…. If a man is rich, let him rejoice in his portion and help those who are poor; if he is strong, let him help those who are weak, and redeem those who are oppressed. For indeed we are like the servants of a household. Every one of us is appointed to some task and is expected to remain at his post and do the work of the household as well as possible. In the scheme of life, there is no room for pride.
-Moses Hayyim Luzzato, The Path of the Upright (18
Is arrogance a challenge for you?
In what situations does arrogance arise for you?
Think of something you accomplished recently. What personal strengths allowed you to accomplish that task?
To what extent are those strengths of your own making and to what extent are they gifts you were granted by the Creator or others?
Whenever you feel yourself becoming prideful, make a list of all those who have contributed to your accomplishments and success. I
f you are able, make a point of thanking those who have helped you.