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It's said 100 million Americans watched the Superbowl, which like a religious event is held on Sunday. I wonder if 100 million Americans have ever gone to church on a Sunday. Now I love a good football game: it is a brutal and beautiful sport, replete with a gladiator's violence and a ballerina's grace. But I don't understand why we make so much out of a game! Look at parents who get into fistfights at their kid's Little League games. In Europe there is often mayhem or even a riot following a soccer, sorry, football game. But we Americans seem obsessed with winning like no other nation: we really, really hate to loose. So whether it's a game, a job hunt, finding a mate or waging war, we tend to go ALL OUT. And when we win, and we often do, we take great pride in that. And there's the problem:pride, be it in a person or a nation.
Humility may still be called a virtue but only in those churches largely empty because folks are home awaiting, not the Second Coming, but the Super Bowl.Who wakes up and says, I need to be humble today? I don't, though I know many of my conflicts arise out of my pride (not of wealth or prowess but intellect). Regardless of which side you're on, if you're really aware, it seems obvious that most of our politicians are vain, shallow, arrogant, hypocritical, self-serving: all the worst attributes of pride. And when was the last time you heard a doctor say, I don't know, this is beyond medical knowledge? Or an academic pontificate about society's ills when he's never stepped foot outside of his ivory tower into the messy, complicated, often tragic real world?
It has taken me 70 years to realize that pride, the ego, is a trap and that humility is a virtue because it is FREEING. Humility means honesty, recognizing that you need help, maybe from another person, maybe from another Being, one not impressed by our pride, by our 'wins', by our victories over other prideful beings. I have learned (the hard way as is my wont) that only when I give up my pride, any semblance of vanity and see my ego for the destructive trickster it is, only when my back is against the wall and I stand naked before God can I feel the wondrous freedom of humility for then I have put my soul into the hands of THE Other.
We 'modern' humans and especially Americans take such pride in our technology but fail to see how vulnerable we, the whole world is, for if death circles each life, so too does it the world:only foolish pride makes us take life for granted.
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