The fall of Icarus is a common story, a tale that speaks of the everyday person. Escape we must, always on a journey either to or away, and we do so on a dream of feathers and wax, a labor borrowed else we would have known the dangers.
Fly neither too low nor too high. Let not the dampness of the sea neither weigh down nor clog your wings and do not let the sun’s heat melt the wax that holds everything together.
How many times have we mere mortals worked so hard to overcome complacency that we end up so giddy with our success that we fall prey to our hubris? Pride is indeed the fall of many a successful achiever, sparking various idioms of “pride goes before a fall’, ‘too big for his boots’, etc.
Pride is the bane of humankind, earning it the honor of being the worst of the seven deadly sins. Some theologians have gone so far as to state that not only is it the root of all evil but the gateway through which all other sins enter the mortal human. Pride is the rot that corrupts the most pristine of humans, the hard worker, the diligent, the scholar, the passionate, the motivated and saddest of all, the thinker.
The necrosis of one’s soul by pride lies in its ability to camouflage itself in the quest for truth, greatness, purpose, and knowledge. How should one be wary of the mutation of healthy self-respect into pride? Or be mindful of the subtle morphing of one’s confidence in one’s intellect into arrogance?
Like Icarus, we struggle to fly in the narrow that is above mediocrity and below arrogance. Especially in today’s world where we are drumming the need to be confident, taking a stand, and asserting our identity; the fate of Icarus echoes in every memoir.
The thinking mind especially is subject to the slow venom of pride. Often in my discourses that turn into heated discussions, I am accused of ‘oversimplifying’ the complicated existence of life. Occam’s razor is needed for the overgrowth of assumptions and presumptions that are beginning to cloud our judgments.
The law of parsimony is being abandoned for the all-inclusive, all-encompassing, theory of everything that literally leads us into a deadlock that gets us nowhere. Common sense is being questioned about its failure to satisfy every situation and outcome. Generalizations are being abhorred in the quest to be sensitive to the random or an anomaly.
While I can appreciate the noble desire to be respectful, is confusion, the result of such drastic measures, any better? Should we not instead reach deep within ourselves as individuals and as a society, to make personal changes instead of plunging into the chaos of uprooting all that was in the hope of a maybe?