Tue | Aug 4, 2020

Kelly's World | The ‘A’ word – never knew I was wearing it

Published:Monday | May 20, 2019 | 12:00 AM

“Arrogance really comes from insecurity, and in the end our feeling that we are bigger than others is really the flip side of our feeling that we are smaller than others.” – Desmond Tutu


Had a slight (and compared to the overall vastness of the universe, I really mean slight) run-in with Babylon the other day.

Details of the actual incident aren’t necessary but I will say that perhaps a more humble tone on my part might have changed the outcome.

And it was inability (or refusal?) to do that which birthed this column.

Suffice to say, I took my comeuppance badly. I always take anything that ruins my idea of perfection (as flawed as it is) like a Mike Tyson-type punch to the face.

After some introspection, and beating myself up (literally and figuratively), I realised the reason I always get so peeved.

But first, a quick history lesson. Years ago, after telling a friend about a failed encounter with a member of the opposite sex, I peered at a WhatsApp status from said person and wondered aloud to my friend if the fair maiden may have been talking about me.

“Get over yourself” or something like that was the reply. “Don’t be arrogant and think everything revolves around you” was the admonition (again, not a word-for-word translation).

I’d never thought about the dreaded ‘A’ word being associated with me before that day.

But that recollection, plus the ‘disaster’ of mere days ago, have made it quite clear that I am actually an arrogant bastard.

I’m beginning to think I haven’t tried certain things because I would be too arrogant to admit I may not be good at them.

Kinda like saying, “How dare there be something I can’t accomplish?”

I remember another friend once called me awesome. I blushed. Now I realise that there is another seven-letter word that begins with ‘a’ and ends with ‘e’, and has ‘o’ as the fifth letter might also describe me as well.

According to the urban dictionary, that word is the equivalent term of bitch for a man.


As author James Rozoff once said, “Ignorance is a horrible thing. But arrogance, the belief that knowing a little more than the ignorant makes you wise, is more horrible still.”

I’m beginning to think now that my ‘wisdom’ is actually as welcomed as meat at a vegan festival.

So how did I get here? Dunno. For an aspiring know-it-all I am not good with questions of introspection.

I may not be the ‘do you know who I am type’? but there is an air of ‘I’m bigger than the garbage unfolding in front of me’. Quite frankly, that’s not good.

Maybe it’s ‘short man’ syndrome. Maybe even my self-diagnosis is arrogance, because it could be interpreted that nobody can really counsel me, but me.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure anymore.

Former tennis great Steffi Graf once said, “You can have a certain arrogance, and I think that’s fine, but what you should never lose is the respect for the others.”

After the events of a few days ago, I’m pretty certain I already have.


Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com