Full of What?

I have been thinking about something for a few days and it just seemed to be the right time to put all those thoughts down and see what I come up with. Right now, in the States anyways, we have countless Super Bowl interviews appearing on TV, there is American Idol being broadcast twice a week, and presidential candidates are hogging the remaining airways. So, my question is, what is the difference between arrogance and confidence?

Now, I fill as qualified as any to discuss this, since I have been charged with being both. And I guess the fact that I would even attempt to go into such a subject matter, puts me in one of those categories. ‘They’ say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, when referring to art. Well then,  does the interpretation of arrogance versus confidence lie with the listener or observer. (I say observer because both characteristics can be displayed by body language.) I would also point out that each individual’s interpretation would be affected by their current situation. Someone could ‘rub you the wrong way’ one day, but not bother you whatsoever on another day.

Let’s go into each individual situation I presented at the top. Sports. The Super Bowl has arrived. In this game, which rivals the World Cup of soccer finals as the most watched event of all time, there’s the quarterback for the New England Patriots, Tom Brady. Tom plays for an undefeated football team, has won several Super Bowls up to this point in his career, has a baby with an attractive actress and is dating a Brazilian supermodel. Withall of that going for him, most people, would say that he has it all, but nobody really ever charges Tom with being arrogant. But on the flip side, also in football, there’s Terrell Owens. T.O. is rich, single, and based on the cover of ESPN The Magazine, has the abs of a brick wall. He has caused some serious problems with two different teams. There was also the alleged suicide attempt. And then there are all the dances and different acts that T.O. performs in the endzone, after he scores a touchdown. Arrogance or confidence? If you accuse someone of being arrogant, is it one of those situations where it ‘takes one to know one?’

American Idol. To me, personally, there is more arrogance on this show than there is in sports. But whose fault is that? Do these people come on this show for attention? (If so,then I could get all ‘Dr. Phil’ on you and start asking why they feel like they have a lack of attention. And go right into good attention vs. bad attention. Then we could come full circle back to Britney Spears; and we’d all be throwing up.) There seems to me to be a lot of people that have been encouraged in some of the wrong places. Who in the world would tell some of these contestants that they can sing? One girl has even admitted to never hearing “no” before. I, myself, would call many of these would-be-singers, arrogant. And on the flip side, there is Simon Cowell, one of the show’s judges. Many would say that he is mean and rude and arrogant. Perhaps the way he gives his opinion can be taken as harsh and condescending, but I find most of his comments to be right on. (Back to the whole, takes one to know one.)

Presidential candidates. Who in their right mind really thinks they can lead a country that has practically told the world ‘come here, anything goes.’ Those on the left, along with a smattering of those on the right, would say that it wouldn’t be too hard to do after the president we have had for the last eight years. War, debt, poverty, health care, taxes, education, social security, marriage, child-bearing, and death are on the dinner plate. A black man, a white woman, another Arkansas governor, a war veteran, and a Mormon. Realistically, this is the group from which our next president will be chosen. One of these people will be given the responsibility to lead one of the most important countries in the world at one of the most important times in history. And to say you know what to do for this country, for all of the people living within it, confidence or arrogance?

Again, I wrote this because this topic seems to fill the broadcasting airways now more than ever. Yes, some would just turn off the television, but frankly, it is everywhere. People you work with or buy from or interact with somewhere. The young teenager, most people see as a young arrogant punk. The man decked out to the nines thinks too much of himself and is arrogant. The woman behind the sunglasses in the over-sized SUV, by herself, is arrogant. We need confidence to believe in ourselves. It goes back to the quality of self-esteem. Some say you have to love yourself before anyone else will, or at least, before you let anyone else love you.

I have been both confident and arrogant. I guess it depends on what area of life I am dealing with at the time. But something that I know that has made me a little more tolerable to others is asking for help and not just assuming I know how to take care of a particular tasks. I know I need people. Whether its help with the kids, with work-related issues, repairs around the house, or taking care of the cars, I need help. So, what am I full of? Full of confidence that turns into arrogance when I allow it to. Having a wife halfway to death, children clinging to dear life, living an ocean away from my parents, and trying to make sense of who God is…that will drop any man from his arrogant perch. But that same man, if he’s a real man, will take those lessons as learning opportunities to realize life is life because of others, not just what you have made it. (Am I talking to a mirror or what?!) By the way, whether its confidence or arrogance, both could be a front for a wide-open void.

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One Response to “Full of What?”

  1. Wow. You write some intimidating, or are they arrogant 🙂 , blogs that most people wouldn’t even try to comment on after reading. Suffice it to say there are different types and sources of confidence and arrogance(often a mask for fear and/or an actual lack thereof). Confidence in and because of the Lord, our God, and His promises and presence is the one to seek. Also, only in America would you have such a lieup of serious candidates with a shot at being President. I pray the “winner” is the one who has learned the most of the kinds of lessons about the importance of people – others, that you close with above. Dad

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