Saturday, November 11, 2006

Curious about Arrogance: What Is It? Who Has It? What’s Its Effect?

I don’t know about you, but I do know that I am often attracted by people - and men, in particular - who possess a level of arrogance. Recently, I read an article by Robert Ringer about arrogance and how it is often a quality of those who exhibit control and authority - and not always in a good way.

My questions to you are: what is arrogance, who has it and what is its effect? These thoughts are interesting and a bit baffling.

The following are general beliefs about arrogance and its role:
  • As an artist you have to have a certain amount of arrogance.” - Kim Weston
  • Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.” - Sun Tzu
  • A generation of arrogance. We didn't trust anyone over 30. We believed we could fix all the prejudices and irrationality of the past.” - Alastair Wood
  • Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” - William Pollard
  • Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose the former and have seen no reason to change.” - Frank Lloyd Wright
  • I'm Billy the Kid, the fastest draw. It's not arrogance. It's the truth.” - David Geffen

More thoughts on arrogance with a different twist:

  • I see myself capable of arrogance and brutality... That's a fierce thing, to discover within yourself that which you despise the most in others.” - George Stevens
  • I do not see myself as an example to anybody for anything. I think that is arrogance at its best. That is obnoxious; that is so offensive.” - Susan Powter
  • Sometimes a neighbor whom we have disliked a lifetime for his arrogance and conceit lets fall a single commonplace remark that shows us another side, another man, really; a man uncertain, and puzzled, and in the dark like ourselves.” - Willa Cather
  • We were young and had the arrogance of youth, nevertheless when you look at the issues we fought over, I think by and large we were right.” - Ken Follet
  • The budget should be balanced. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered, and assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt.” - Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 - 43 B.C.)
  • There's a certain arrogance to an actor who will look at a script and feel like, because the words are simple, maybe they can paraphrase it and make it better.” - Mary Steenburgen
  • With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on.” - William Morris

So many different feelings about the good, the bad and the ugly of the qualities accompanying arrogance. What do you think and feel about it? Here are a few more for you to consider this week:

  • Honest discussions - even and perhaps especially on topics about which we disagree - can help us resist hypocrisy and arrogance. They can also help us live up to the basic ideals, such as liberty and justice for all, on which our country was founded.” - David E. Price
  • The arrogance of the artist is a very profound thing, and it fortifies you.” - James A. Michener
  • Arrogance on the part of the meritorious is even more offensive to us than the arrogance of those without merit: for merit itself is offensive.” - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • We work real hard not to get an attitude of arrogance or haughtiness, which you see in this business all the time.” - Tom Hicks

Trevor Nunn stated, “If you're a director, your entire livelihood and your entire creativity is based on your self-confidence. Sometimes that's dangerously close to arrogance.” I submit to you that he could be talking about a plethora of careers.

What do you conclude from the many quotations? Is having arrogance a bad way to be? I would love to hear from you.