Lent is a time in which to consider arrogance. It can sneak up on one when least expected. We all know things we are good at. And we even know what they are, itemizing them like a princess fiddling with her pearls. We too often let arrogance run rampant when we are either very confident or very insecure – a disparity which is, in itself odd.
The thing about arrogance is that its source is in pride. And of course the problem with pride is that it masks our blind spots, making mindfulness difficult and causing the kind of lack of self-awareness which can get us into a lot to trouble.
The three flowers of arrogance, pride and a lack of awareness are flowers best not watered in Lent. What is the antidote to arrogance pride and a shallow self-awareness? Friendship.
Friendship will bring people into our lives who are able and willing to tell us the truth – that when we feel stupid and weak we are actually strong. And that when we feel powerful and able, we are actually dependent on a system without which we would die in weeks. Both are valuable and both are well-spoken by loving, honest friends.