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The Secret To Becoming Less Arrogant

To what extent are we, as individuals, responsible for our own success? How much gratitude do we owe to our parents, family, and friends? What about outside forces, we can't control?

As Moses takes leave from the children of Israel on the other side of the Jordan, he shares his concerns for their future. Above all, he is especially worried about affluence because, he believes, it will likely lead to arrogance.

In his memorable words, Moses shares this timeless message with his people. “When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses to live in.... and your silver and gold have increased. Beware lest your heart grow haughty and you forget your G-d....” And you say to yourselves “My own power have won this wealth for me”.

Moses foretells what he thinks is unavoidable. With the rise of success and affluence among our people, hubris and arrogance are likely to follow. Every step we take on this scale to prosperity, we tend to forget the ones who came before us making everything possible.

In simple terms, arrogance is the gross exaggeration of our own value and the contribution we make to others. It is the opposite of humility, which is a more sober evaluation of self, which necessarily engenders appreciation and gratitude to others.

King Solomon says it is a humble man that is truly happy. For it is only through humility that we can fully appreciate the contribution of others in our lives. And it is only through fully appreciating the people in our lives that we can truly be happy.

As a wise sage once said “It is not how much we have which makes us happy, but how much we appreciate what we have that makes us happy”. This is especially true regarding the friends and family in our lives.

Practical Application: Spend ten minutes a day thinking about the value other people have added to our lives.


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