Good morning class, my name is Stephen Altrogge and I’ll be your instructor this semester in ‘Pride and Arrogance 101’. What qualifies me to teach this class? Well, to put it simply, I’ve written the book on pride and arrogance. Actually, I did write a book called I’m Better Than You, Deal With It but the publishers couldn’t see its brilliance. Fools.
Anyway, you may call me ‘Professor Altrogge’, or by one of my three nicknames (depending on which country you’re from): Sir Incredible, Senior Brilliance, or Monsieur Magnific. I am the country’s leading expert on pride and arrogance and I speak out of my vast experience. You should count it a privilege to look up to me. Today we’ll be examining the three basic laws of pride and arrogance. Once we master these, we’ll move on to bigger and greater things.
The Law of Always Being Right
Law number one is that you are always right on every subject. You must believe this at all times and at all costs, even when there is a vast amount of evidence to the contrary. The simple truth is, you are always right. You know that, and I know that, but not everyone around you knows that. And so you must labor to convince your peers that you hold the correct perspective on every subject. You must win every argument. Don’t let your opponents end a discussion believing that they’re right. Husbands, if you get into an argument with your wife, don’t back down. It’s crucial that you establish your position as right and hers as wrong. Don’t let silly things like cold, hard, evidence distract you from your main task of being right. Don’t let your mind even consider her ideas for a moment, because they’re obviously wrong. Take the high road, the ‘right’ road, if you get my drift (wink, wink). Once you believe that you’re always right, you’re on the road to excelling in pride and arrogance.
The Law of Criticism
If you’re always right, than it’s only natural that you regularly criticize those around you. As you can clearly see, any ideas other than your own are absolute rubbish, and worthy of the harshest criticism. Teenagers, don’t like the way your parents do things? I can understand why. After all, you’ve been alive for fifteen years and have a wealth of experience to draw upon. Remember, you’re right, no matter how much wisdom and life experience your parents have. So what should you do? Criticize them. If you’re going to excel in pride and arrogance, you simply must grow in criticism.
In addition, you must use extra care not to encourage anyone. This may mean turning a blind eye to some of the actions of those around you that would be classified as ‘admirable’ by lesser folk. If you’re going to be proud and arrogant, you must always be looking at and admiring yourself. You simply don’t have time to be pointing out nice stuff in other people. Which leads me to my third law of pride and arrogance.
The Law of Self-Admiration
If you’re going to be a pride and arrogance expert like me, you must start admiring yourself much more. How does one do this? Simple. Take a few moments and ponder any recent successes you’ve had. Then take credit for each success. Done well on the job? Played well in a basketball game? Gotten good grades? Seize hold of those and take credit for them. Does it matter that you were born with a brain that does well in school, or a body that can play sports? Of course not! You must take ALL the credit. If you do this, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert in the field of pride and arrogance.
Unfortunately that’s all we’ve got time for today. I’ll be holding office hours from 10-12 if you have anything you would like to talk about. I’m sure we’ll agree.
photo by Sarah Jane
Originally published February, 2008