Arrogance is the idea that our abundance comes to us because we deserve it, that we are somehow better than other people. It reminds me of the night we were down in Atlanta at Grady Hospital, which is the huge trauma center down in the heart of old down town. My sons' father, my former husband become good friend, was in there, dying of a glioblastoma. His brain tumor had just that week been diagnosed after he got lost in his own house. When his mother showed up she insisted on taking him to Grady. It was a rough time and we barely left the hospital for his last weeks.
Rasta and Pablo went out to get food to some Jamaican jerk place. Rasta's order got mixed up, and instead of getting chicken, it was pork, which he doesn't eat. I mean c'mon, his name is Rasta.
There were a bunch of homeless people sitting around and without studying them, Rasta handed one the take-out container full of a barely touched dinner. The guy turned triumphantly to all the others and shouted, "I've got food, motherfuckers!" and ran off to eat it alone.
It was upsetting to Rasta and Pablo. They were in a pretty tender state watching their dad die, and wanted the gesture to engender a similar gesture of sharing. But some people are just dicks.
I have a friend who tends to gloat when he does well, gets some money, gets a good deal. It's a most unpalatable characteristic because inherent in that behavior is the statement, "I got this because I'm special and you didn't." Not too different from, "I've got food, motherfuckers!" So that's arrogance.
Guilt is the absolutely total flip side of that coin. "Oh my God, what did I do to deserve this?" or even more to the point, "I don't deserve this." The B side of arrogance is shamefulness and self-doubt. I've been there, I know. HOW could we not deserve what we receive? If it comes to us, it is meant to. That's just natural law. It's not because we're so special, as in the case of arrogance. We don't have to do anything except be able and willing to receive. Which leads us to GRATITUDE.
If arrogance is one side of the coin, and guilt is the other, gratitude is the balance point. We don't have to understand or explain. All we have to do is say Thank You. That's it. Just say thank you.