“The two feelings, envy and arrogance, are but opposite sides of the same shield, but different developments of the same spirit.”
Within all of us there are a lot of emotions that are a part of our makeup as human beings. Some are ones we try to put on display more often than others. No matter what the emotions we may try and subdue like anger or worry they all have an impact on developing into who we really are. In today’s quote President Theodore Roosevelt mentions two feelings we experience: envy and arrogance. He mentions that although they are on opposite sides of the same shield they both are part of developing that same spirit. I look at this shield as our shield of self awareness. It represents our emotional makeup that allows us to use for our own protection based on any of the experiences we may encounter.
Envy is that feeling of being discontented or resentful towards someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck while arrogance is where we exaggerate our own worth or importance often in an overbearing manner in trying to show our superiority. On the one side of that shield envy is due in part to us being jealous of another in something we feel we lack but desperately want, like wanting the type of life they appear to have whether it be monetarily or emotionally. Envy may also motivate us to become better or improve in whatever we may be jealous about.
On the other side is arrogance where we are trying to self promote and in a way show off in front of others of things we are trying to impress people that we have perhaps in the hopes of making them jealous or envious. There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence and for me I try never to cross over from confidence to arrogance because it is just not in my nature to be that way. Whether it is either of these two emotions, we are the ones that need to recognize when they bubble up and develop better ways in handling them so that there is a better emotional balance so that one does not dominate the other.
When we put forth a conscious effort to ensure our emotional checkbook is balanced, so is our life which is of utmost importance.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards improving your self awareness?