In contrast to your usual minions, I imagine, I’m a bit more awed by your conceit and arrogance than I am by your supposed magnificence.
I am incapable of mediocrity.
The greatest danger, of course, was to believe that I was equal to them, because assurance can morph into arrogance that Death loves to prove unfounded.
Every woman knows what I’m talking about. It’s the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men’s unsupported overconfidence.
Class is an aura of confidence that is being sure without being cocky. Class has nothing to do with money. Class never runs scared. It is self-discipline and self-knowledge. It’s the sure-footedness that comes with having proved you can meet life.
The exegetical foundations would appear to be weak, and one shouldn’t build huge theological edifices, no matter how splendid or consistent, on weak foundations.
Much self-condemnation, thus, is a cloak for arrogance. Those who think they overcome pride by condemning themselves could well ponder Spinoza’s remark, ‘One who despises himself is the nearest to a proud man’. In ancient Athens, when a politician was trying to get the votes of the working class by appearing very humble in a tattered coat with big holes in it, Socrates unmasked his hypocrisy by exclaiming, ‘Your vanity shows forth from every whole in your coat’.
If a man wanted to put the entire universe in his breast, he couldn’t do it with his chest stuck out.
One age misunderstands another; and a petty age misunderstands all the others in its own nasty way.