Sunday, February 15, 2015

Word From the Wise

Aristotle defined hubris as follows:
to cause shame to the victim, not in order that anything may happen to you, nor because anything has happened to you, but merely for your own gratification. Hubris is not the requital of past injuries; this is revenge. As for the pleasure in hubris, its cause is this: men think that by ill-treating others they make their own superiority the greater.
I looked this up following a discussion with a work colleague yesterday on Pride. From a theological viewpoint pride itself is viewed as a sin. I think pride is fine, judgement is what I wish to stop.

I would agree in my experience, what I take pride is followed closely by comparison and judgement. Hubris is definitely a problem for me. But taking pride in oneself is a wholly worthwhile exercise, much like cultivating gratitude.

Pride is what makes an investment in experiences so worthwhile, it is perhaps a form of gratitude. Aristotle's definition is remarkably close to a description of bullying. A role I have played in my life.

The ancient Greeks were pretty amazing. To think we were sufficiently advanced in language and ideas that early, and that so much of our thought and philosophies are still derived from that ancient language. More recently Ben Franklin said:

"Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame."

And so I have found it to be true. Aristotle and Franklin were bouth undoubtedly wise men. Note that they were wise enough to know the minds of those they describe and likely experienced first hand the mindset.

Like me.

Like you?

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