R H
  • R H
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States

This conversation is closed.

If we hold ourselves and our views to a higher standard, are we then 'snobs' and 'conceited' and 'arrogant' or are we seekers of greatness?

We often judge those, especially whom we're familiar with, who speak in elevated language, who acquire better educations, who accumulate great wealth, and/or who no longer seek our company because of these accomplishments with a certain distain. If we choose an 'elevated' manner of living and leave our old ways, if we require in our lives the finest and the greatest that there is to offer - taking no substitute - does that make us self-centered, or does the seeking of greatness, beauty, and excellence in craftsmenship and quality of life liberate us into becoming all that we truly are capable and desiring of?

Closing Statement from R H

Thanks to all who participated. We see from the responses that the concept of 'greatness' is subjective, and that how we evaluate each other is dependant on our intentions and perceptions - also subjective. Also it was clear that many are unconcerned and ignore the reactions of others opinions and valuation of their actions. If these are true, I think we can conclude that we 'choose' how we relate to one another, and within those choices, we can either 'promote' the efforts of others and be open to change, or not. Few touched on the concept of 'seeking excellence (greatness)' in life vs. satisfaction with the status quo, and why it can be difficult. There were specific tools offered to help us become better 'evaluators' and communicators within groups, and most responded that is was important that we have good skills in communicating and be open to change. I learned through this question that I must be more careful in word choice, and how difficult it can be communicate accurately.

  • Jun 15 2012: I don't think seeking what you really want out of life is snobbish or a bad thing. However, if what you seek out of life is acquired by stepping on your fellow man then I think theres a problem. Seeking what you want and helping others in the process is a noble thing and if that's what you mean by "greatness" then I don't see how this could be construed as smug or arrogant behavior. In order to change most have to change who they associate with, their vernacular, level of education, and income will have a correlation to this.

    I guess it all depends what "greatness" means to you and what it is that you are desiring of. Humans desires don't always equate to leading a life that develops a harmonious society. But I think I get what is your saying and I wouldn't take it to heart that others may be looking at you as conceited for trying to make your life and your families life better. I would look at it as just a part of your path towards a better future that includes change in every aspect of your life.
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      Jun 15 2012: Brian, you mentioned "harmonious society." Part of the issue RH raises here, I think, is that some people do not see the possibility of harmony in diversity. Others believe that beautiful harmony comes only from diversity.
      • Jun 15 2012: I dont disagree all I was saying is that certain pursuits and desires don't always have the best results for the whole of the people.

        I think you have taken harmonious to mean utopian and although I don't think a utopian society is attainable I believe we as a people should do all in our power to allow for less suffering.

        Im not sure how you have jumped to diversity. But either way, if societal homeostasis is possible then of course diversity is part of the equation, perhaps a very important piece.
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          Jun 15 2012: I agree that individual's pursuits don't always benefit the society at large. In terms of the issue RH raises, I believe that those who distain the highly educated, for example, sometimes assume that an interest in intellectual pursuits or in learning is at odds with a general harmony, not in the sense of a utopia but in the sense of people's continuing ability and inclination to get along. I used diversity in the broad sense of variation along the various dimensions that can differ among people. I think differences in interests, including an inclination toward intellectual life or toward sports or toward cooking or whatever else might draw a person's focus, make for a richer and more interesting community.
          RH in his question put forward the phenomenon of the intellectual as a common persona non grata. No one should be a persona non grata on the basis of his interests, unless his interests hurt others, as you say. Seeking education and holding oneslf to high standards should not have "negative externalities" in this sense, negative effects on others. These inclinations take nothing away from anyone else.
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          Jun 27 2012: Brian and Fritzie,
          I agree with what you are both expressing. I suggest that people often want what they don't have, or have what they don't want. These preferences may sometimes be on a level in our "self" that people are not willing to explore.

          Your example Fritzie, of those who may "distain the highly educated", may be folks who are not highly educated and wish they were? So they want what they do not have? These are very underlying feelings of course, and sometimes people simply are not in touch with those underlying feelings. They are, however, in touch with the perception of "distain", and sometimes have not explored the "why"!
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    Jun 14 2012: Here's what I think. The words 'snob, conceited and arrogant' have the connotation of disdain. So the answer to your question is that we can hold ourselves to a higher standard but if we disdain other standards,isolating ourselves to only those with the same standards, then we become snobs, conceited and arrogant.

    We can hold ourselves to a higher standard and embrace those with different standards. Accepting differences and cherishing the values of others. When we genuinely do that, we are not snobs but seekers of greatness while embracing all that is human.
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      R H

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      Jun 14 2012: Thanks Linda for responding! I would say your literal interpretation is how those words came to be. It's not that we seek greatness, it's how we use it with others, and how they interpret it, when we find it. Therefore I think you're correct. Those words carry much disdain. But I guess what I was looking for was how much is left up to interpretation? How do we interpret whether by seeking a higher level of living others may be excluded by default? Or are they excluding us? The inevitable strain of communication because one has chosen a different path usually (in my experience I have seen many go far beyond my capability) leads to having less and less in common, and therefore can 'divide' people rather than unite them. The interpersonal 'comfort level' seems to weaken as one chooses a different path. It's like a cultural break. It becomes "he/she has changed - not like us anymore" and one could deduce that to seek a 'higher' ('more enlightened' is probably a better reference) standard of living or view of life is to create division amongst peers. This leads to the use of those words. So from this perspective, your second paragraph would have to work in reverse also. Those who have chosen not to embrace a 'higher standard' must embrace those who have. Lastly, (this is very delicate) to 'embrace all that is human' could be considered mutually exclusive to seeking greatness. BUT, as you inferred, greatness (or not) does not mean license to exclude or view with disdain. I took your meaning to be: embracing all humanity.
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        Jun 14 2012: It takes some maintenance to keep embracing differences. They need to be sought out. It is easy to isolate ourselves it is much harder to embrace humanity. To be truly balanced, you have to work at this. I sort of agree with your last statement but am not too sure the skill set is there. There is a subtle caste system that prevents those who do not choose a higher standard and they do not necessarily have access to those who have.

        Also, you are talking about people judging other people. Who cares? Everybody matures at a different pace and sometimes you have to let people grow and not judge. Be patient. If they have a good heart they will learn.

        Trust me, I live this. As I go along the academic ladder there are people that don't want to talk to me so much. Even in my family. So I reach out and remind them that I am still the same kid rollerskating on the sidewalks of Chicago. They usually remember and laugh.
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          R H

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          Jun 14 2012: Thanks for that. Absolutely it takes work - as in any relationship. I'm big on how we regard one another. I see that as the foundation of all our concerns. This example of how one can 'leave behind' for the sake of good, or personal development, or 'elevated' contribution - I used the term 'greatness' - those who do not have the will/ability/desire to do so, is a concrete dynamic of interpersonal relationship and how we deal with it. Too often, we see the 'negative', and I believe this comes from (sometimes) a perceived loss rather than a step towards the possibility of the potential of humanity. As we strive to re-claim our world of potential, our tendency can be to 'tear down' those who are striving rather than applaud their efforts - even (or especially) if they err. I would agree that there is a lack of 'skill set'. That's why those who are striving must not be deterred or dismayed by those who do not see clearly - as your family example points out - so those who are not striving may be inspired to grow, or at least not be hostile to those that are. We can all learn to accept where others are and what they've chosen. Destructive and hateful tendencies nothwithstanding.
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          Jun 14 2012: R H,
          I agree that how we regard one another can be the foundation of all our concerns. To do that, we don't need to leave anything behind. When we are truly developing in ourselves in a mindful, aware way, we are also contributing to the whole of humanity.

          I agree with you that it may be percieved as a "loss", because we may be changing something in ourselves.....maybe giving up that which is important to the ego?
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          R H

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          Jun 14 2012: To Colleen: What I meant by 'perceived loss' is this: when we watch our colleagues leave us - leave the neighborhood, go on to a better college, get promoted, continue for the doctorate, get offers in other countries, write books, go on talks shows, it seems the common tendency is to is to view it as 'they are no longer like us', like a 'loss'. We internalize a sort of 'pain' and often it manifests itself as harsh words or a negative, an anger. Yes, it is the 'higher ground' to welcome such growth, and I think that's what I'm getting at. How do we perceive such growth - those who search for greatness? I feel that the tendency is to criticize, and many make careers out of doing just that.
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          Jun 15 2012: R H,
          When I see colleagues and friends moving on to somethiing different, I celebrate with them. My perception is that we are all connected, so it makes no sense to me to internalize pain that may manifest as harsh words or anger. It is a choice which simply does not make sense to me. I don't percieve it as a "common tendency".
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      Jun 14 2012: So beautifully said Linda:>)

      R H,
      You write..." It's not that we seek greatness, it's how we use it with others, and how they interpret it, when we find it".

      I agree that it is how we use it...intent is important. When we seek a certain path in this life journey, it certainly impacts others. At the end of the day, however, what is important is not THEIR interpretation of "me", but my own interpretation of how I live my life. I live with myself in each and every moment, and it's nice to "like" the person I spend so much time with:>) Feedback from others is always good too:>)

      Regarding your statement..." The inevitable strain of communication because one has chosen a different path usually... leads to having less and less in common, and therefore can 'divide' people rather than unite them".

      I agree that sometimes, taking a certain path, may lead to less in common. My own experience, and experiences I am aware of in others, however, causes us to recognize the similarities with each other more than the differences, thereby causing more unification, even though on a superficial level there may be less in common:>)

      You say R H..." Lastly, (this is very delicate) to 'embrace all that is human' could be considered mutually exclusive to seeking greatness"

      Why is being human NOT great? We are in human form at this time for a reason, are we not? So, why not seek all that is possible and great in this form?
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        R H

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        Jun 15 2012: I often read your replies and am emboldened through your patience, understanding, and kindness. I know that no matter how crazy or 'borderline' a statement can be, you're always trying to find the usefulness and positive angle. We may not always agree in the details, but in principal we usually do. I will try to answer your questions (and this conversation is beginning to reach the limit of my conceptual capabilities) in this way. To 'embrace all that is human' can be considered to accept our depravities, such as our murderousness, our exploitveness, our degradation of nature, our genocides, our dominence over each other. This is not greatness to me. These are the real 'deadly sins' that are practiced by so many. So many of us seek to find 'greatness', to be 'great', and to rise above these very human tendencies into an expression of humanity of boundless 'positive' possibility, as you have referred to. But often, those who do seek such an expression, often find themselves ridiculed and ostracized. I'm trying to understand why.
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          Jun 15 2012: Thank you for your kind words R H:>) Patience, understanding and kindness are much more enjoyable than the alternative, so I'm actually giving myself a gift with the practice:>)

          I agree that to accept our depravities, is part of accepting everything that is human. I perfer to think about "recognizing" the depravities, rather than accepting them. We can recognize them, and work toward changing some of them to the best of our ability. Change is the part that can lead all of us to greatness. Each one of us alone cannot change the world. Imagine what we could do, however, if we pooled our resources and our energy in an effort to change for the better? This is what I recognize and move toward. What we focus on expands.

          Perhaps sometimes people ridicule and ostracize because they are afraid of change? Perhaps some people would like to control others? There's probably a multitude of reasons....I would guess it's mostly because of change. People are often afraid of change.
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        R H

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        Jun 15 2012: Afraid of change... I would very much agree. That would take us to a whole new conversation - why do we fear change when we know it is the one constant in life? And why do we negatively approach it so? thanks again.
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          Jun 27 2012: R H,
          I percieve "change" to be part of almost any topic. If we are to improve conditions in our world, or in ourselves, it usually involves change.

          You have said things on this thread suggesting that we often divide, seperate, compare, and judge each other. In my humble perception, we need "change" to behave differently in our world...do we not?
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    Jun 27 2012: I think the crucial component is -who is that feedback coming from?
    In some cases you have to find a place to belong- like TED- welcome home.
    In others you must listen intensely to that feedback - because if you really are evoking this feedback from people you value - you need to change for your own sake and the sake of others who are indicating that you are hurting them somehow. It is not necessary to hurt others to get what you need and you know it- you are too smart to think otherwise.
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    Jun 14 2012: I think it's also important to understand that "greatness" is a very subjective qualifier. If I accept that greatness is defined my my own (or another individual's own) valuation of success, I accept the variability of possible responses to people who pursue and achieve. Disdain may arise from our highly differentiated assessments of what qualifies as "greatness" and "success". When I consider "excellence" (literally), I'm acknowledging that a person has achieved greatly against his or her own standards, whereas "greatness" might be largely defined by my own. Essentially, if you surround yourself with people who think you're excellent, you have nothing with which to be concerned. They may not participate in your pursuits; they may find you strange... but those who respect your high standards and the pursuit thereof are unlikely to show you disdain. You can certainly concentrate on garnering respect where you find there is an absence or a negative response. Alternatively, simply continue to pursue achievement. It is much harder to act in the face of derision than to give up on an idea. I like to keep in mind that many life-altering ideas (and, consequently, great thinkers) have historically been snubbed - but not by everyone.
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      R H

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      Jun 15 2012: Wow. Thank you for your response Kathryn. Allow me to make an evaluation and say: beautifully put. The evaluation of 'greatness' is highly subjective. It's often the striving for it though leaves some feeling alienated, and even betrayed, and reverting to harsh responses and creating divisions. How do we 'lose ourselves' and an be truly glad and supportive when a colleague or relative achieves a high level of accomplishment, or bring others along in a non-condescending manner when we do? How do we build bridges in this dynamic rather than create divisions?
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        Jun 21 2012: I would suggest that many high achievers are involved in some level of competitive inclination - that's fairly intrinsic to motivating one's self in challenging situations of all kinds. Having said that, being gracious can be difficult, particularly in academic or corporate settings where entrepreneurial ideas are often met with the derision you describe. Addressing how we are able to overcome our proprietary feelings is important to getting to that supportive place. I've found that the best way to avoid animosity is to share work transparently, which I'll admit is a challenge for me. It's much easier in a corporate setting, wherein the idea or impact I make is something from which I can learn and exact mobility (a tangible gratification). In doing so, I have learned to embrace the wisdom of a colleague: "The work you are doing doesn't belong to you. Let it fly." I think it's important to add that in that setting, the alternative is being stagnant by corporate design. In an academic setting, I would suggest that the same concept of shared ownership should be fostered to attain mutual appreciation and support - I do understand that unique work, however, is coveted. If you are the achieving party, you can bring others along through inclusion: ask for contribution. This acknowledgement that you respect input from others makes your peers, friends, family, etc. feel valued (better still that you listen and apply feedback, as it is typically - and happily - valuable). If they are the achievers, and they are gracious (or even if they aren't), a similar principle applies (again, I postulate based on personal experience). If you approach the individual with interest, and potentially gratitude, you demonstrate to that individual that you value their work. Asking questions that engage this person in elaborating on their ideas is one way to help you to (potentially) respect them. If you come away from those questions with a lack of respect, or in disagreement, you self-justify.
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          R H

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          Jun 27 2012: That is exactly what I was hoping for. Usable techniques and strategies to improve the dynamics the original question attempted to present. These dynamics are rarily recognized, let alone discussed, in either corporate or personal settings. Professionals like yourself acknowledge their reality, but most people (in my experience) simply refer to someone as 'ok', 'nice', or 'a pain in the a--'. These interpersonal and communication techniques are critical, at least to me, for the well-being and ultimate success of any group - personal or professional. How many excellent 'teams' break down because of their lack of skill in interpersonal communication (again, both personal and professional). Intentions notwithstanding, techniques and skill are what makes for success in dealing with one another. As we evaluate what we hear, how we're treated, and get feedback from others how they've responded to our methods of communicating, we can begin to realize what affect our methods of communication have on the successful results of what we're conveying. The lack of attention to this subtle, yet significant, exchange dynamic has destroyed many good relationships, and have broken-down, or disabled, many excellent 'teams'. Thank you for your participation.
  • Jun 27 2012: I must admit that when I first looked at this topic, I laughed and thought it was trivial. After reading through it again, I am very impressed with the depth of the responses. As I wrote before, I am little concerned with what others might label me. But in some cultures, what others think and say about a person amounts to the concept of honor, and is taken extremely seriously. And the concept of greatness, when seriously pursued, can be very profound.

    RH, thanks for a great discussion.
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      R H

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      Jun 27 2012: Ha! Thanks Barry. I have been referred to in much worse terms - and many times deservedly so... I think you're right. Ultimately, the 'chips will fall' and we will press on. For some, the 'chips' will have greater impact than for others. Often though, decisions are made based on 3rd party interpretations of someone... I think what I'm after here is how we interpret those around us, and how we're interpreted vs. our intentions. It becomes expecially significant when we make changes in the direction of our lives. Although, like you I have little patience for being labeled, previously good relationships have the potential to be lost, great 'teams' broken, and potentially great groups 'deformed in incubation' because of our lack of skills in how we evaluate and relate to each other. Regarding 'greatness', I've learned through this discussion that many feel this is a 'label' too, and very subjective. I would agree that we each have our vision of what 'greatness' is. But the 'pursuit of greatness', as you observed, would be for me, the profound outcome of this discussion.
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    Jun 15 2012: RH, I do not know what age group you fall into, but we are experiencing much of this behavior in the Baby Boomers, x, and Y, generations. These groups are more materialistic and self centered than past generations. They bought large home, fancy cars, joined the right clubs, and demonstrated their success in many ways. When it came time to pay the pipper the balloon payments they signed up for they skipped out. They as much as the administration that made it possible for them to buy home over their head based on potential earnings, are to blame for banks going under and the housing bust. They did not buy art for excellence they bought it as a sign of their status.

    Each person has priorities. Go to the getto and see cadillacs and men in silk suits living in shack and their family dojng poorly because that is their priority. Baby Boomers want everything today that took their parents a luifetime to accumulate, that is their priority. Calling them names serves no purpose and it reflects badly on you.

    Each of us could of had materialistic things had we made that a priority instead of families and savings, etc ..

    Look at your beautiful bride and children and then answer would you have changed places. No. Me either.

    All the best. Bob.
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      R H

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      Jun 16 2012: The way we evaluate others is the crux of this question. Thanks for responding.
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        Jun 27 2012: R H,
        I agree R H, that the way we evaluate others is the crux of this question. I observe that we often use the same standards to evaluate others, which we use to evaluate ourselves. Sometimes this is not obvious, and if we move to a deeper level of understanding, we see the simiilarities.

        I've said this many times, and I'll say it again, because I believe it to be very relevant to many topics....we are like mirrors to each other, reflecting information back and forth all the time. When I perceive something in someone that I do not like, I immediately take that information back into myself and ask...what is that person reflecting that I do not like in myself. This provides valuable information about ourselves, if we are open to the possibility of learning.

        Your question..."If we hold ourselves and our views to a higher standard, are we then 'snobs' and 'conceited' and 'arrogant' or are we seekers of greatness?"

        My perception of an answer to your question is that It totally depends on what standards we are using, and how we use the information. If we feel the need to judge others, we can ask ourselves why we want to judge other people or ourselves, what information that judgment is giving us, and how do we choose to use the information?
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          R H

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          Jun 27 2012: One of my favorite sayings has been that life is a mirror - whatever we put in it we get back. I don't know, though, if I would agree that when I'm relating with someone, that I'm referring it back to me. I'm trying to understand where the other person is coming from. This of course is subject to my 'experiences', but 'my experiences' are not the focus. I'm trying to understand why they said what they said, and why they said it how they said it. I feel this 'strategy' allows me to have more empathy, be more complimentary and communicative, and hopefully leads to true authentic sharing... Lastly, my clumsy question for this discussion was followed by an only slighly less clumsy explanation. Your 'how do we choose to use the information?' was the closest to what I was getting at. How do we choose to relate to one another (this follows on the heels of how we evaluate and percieve what the other person has offered in the communications) and what are the affects of those method choices on the relationship. Thanks, once again, for your responses.
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        Jun 28 2012: Hi R H,
        I agree...life is like a mirror too...whatever we put into it, we get back the reflection:>)

        I didn't mean to suggest that while relating with someone, everything is only referring back to me. I am very aware of what is going on with other people I am interacting with, on many different levels.. We are multi-sensory, multi-dimentional beings, and can have a number of different thoughts and feelings going on at the same time. When we are aware of this, we are taking in information on several different levels of consciousness.

        I agree that to be aware, with compassion, empathy, and authenticity is the best possible way to communicate with anyone. Your question is not clumsy, in my perception, and I think I knew what you were getting at:>)

        In your comment above, you ask..."how do we choose to relate to one another". My answer is, with kindness and respect as much as possible. I believe it is a choice in each moment for all of us. The more aware we are of how we communicate, the better opportunities we create for ourselves AND all those we interact with. I believe it has a HUGE affect on all relationships...don't you think?
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    Jun 14 2012: People who hold themselves to high standards often do so because they feel a sort of moral imperative to live up to their potential, perhaps for themselves, perhaps to honor those who helped them along the way, or perhaps for the good of others. This drive cannot, I think, properly be classified as snobbish, arrogant, or a pursuit of greatness.
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      R H

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      Jun 15 2012: Absolutely. Thank you for your clear assessment of those who strive. But they can be referred to by others who don't have a similar vision as such. It's how we evaluate each others actions, and the resulting fallout, that is the crux of this question. Although many will say they don't care what others think, rightfully so, there's still a consistent 'division' and 'classification' we often make between those who do try, and those who are satisfied - and vice versa, wouldn't you say?
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        Jun 15 2012: If you are asking whether those who are highly educated, express themselves as educated people typically do, and hold themselves to high standards are often viewed with disdain by others, I think you are right, but that that disdain is far from universal. This situation can be heart-breaking when the disdained and ostracized are children who do well and work hard in school and are pressured by the ridicule of peers to conceal their authentic dispositions.
        In terms of adult relationships and tolerance, I have recent experience with an online community in which the male host was quite intolerant of women who used rational arguments and citation to published research to challenge the ideas he was trying to sell. But I would have called this situation more one of trying to reach clarity than of pursuing greatness.
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          R H

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          Jun 15 2012: Your observation of children's suffering of this dynamic is truly heart-breaking and potentially damaging - irreversibly. At least as much as any acquired physical deformity can be. Your observation of adults though is a great example of this conversation. What was the result of his treatment of the female participants? Was there synergies? Was there collaberation and growth? I would presume not. This conversation is beginning to reveal that it is the dispostion we choose which determines our response to other's pursuit of 'greatness', and our own treatment of others as we strive for it. Once again, we choose our affect on the world.
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        Jun 15 2012: Without reference to any specific venue, any organization that prevents diverse views from airing or diverse people from participating may evolve, but not toward more comprehensive understanding. Just as breeders of animals often select for and against particular characteristics and together shape the species in a particular direction rather than where nature might have taken it, an organization that selects only for certain points of view may evolve within that narrower idea-space. Some people who cannot participate authetically leave such organizations and others stay to participate inauthentically. In a workplace, for example, employees who have insight as to how to improve processes or service will not necessarily have the voice to express that, but the lack of easy job switching may hold them in dissatisfied place.
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        Jun 27 2012: R H,
        You write..."...there's still a consistent 'division' and 'classification' we often make between those who do try, and those who are satisfied - and vice versa, wouldn't you say?"

        If one feels a need to divide and classify, I suggest that the person doing so is not as secure in him/herself as s/he might be.

        We can be satisfied, while still continuing to try to improve ourselves and our world. Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. Those who need to divide, seperate, judge, compare, criticize others, etc., do not recognize the interconnectedness of the whole. We are all interconnected, so to use these perceptions to seperate one from the other, to me is simply an illusion, which is not necessary. When we realize we are all connected, we accept and understand that people are different, with different life paths, different goals, skills, and talents...ALL of which are needed in our world.
  • Jun 14 2012: It's all down to the whole assertiveness conflict that is agressive assertiveness vs passiveness. I think it all relies on a healthy balance.
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      R H

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      Jun 15 2012: Very interesting assessment. Thank you. A healthy balance, and I would add mutual respect and appreciation. You agree?
  • Jun 14 2012: Personally, I have a tough hide, and I am old enough now so I don't care much about other peoples labels. If people want to call me a conceited arrogant snob, so be it.
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      R H

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      Jun 15 2012: So true, Barry. But it doesn't help when those whom we know refer to us in that way, does it? I certainly have no desire to spend any time with them. Therefore we have created another way to keep us divided, to continue our animosities towards each other. Will we ever rise above such foolishness - and I'm talking from both sides, those who truly are arrogant and snobbish, and those who refer to those who are not as such?
      • Jun 15 2012: Are you so sure that I am not a conceited arrogant snob?

        More positively, I am self confident; I have the courage of my convictions; and I choose to discuss ideas rather than gossip. If others recognize this, I hold no animosity toward them.

        Labels make me laugh.
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          R H

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          Jun 15 2012: Ha! If you were a CAS and were demeaning, then you'd be just as much a part of this problem as those do not strive towards 'greatness' and resent those who do! But you have no animosity, and having strong convictions, confidence, and a chosen point of view does not necessarity make you a CAS - just, as you said, a "tough hide". In my opinion, strong points of view make one great. It gives them substance. It demonstrates they are fully alive humans, not afraid to live in their way. It's the being open to ideas while having strong convictions that keep one from becoming a CAS - again, in my opinion. Cheers!
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        Jun 15 2012: Hi R H and Barry,

        Me too Barry...self confident, courageous, choose to discuss ideas rather than gossip, and hold no animosity toward anyone...labels often make me laugh too:>)

        R H,
        You seem to be focusing on what other people do...what others think about you...feel....what they call you....etc.
        In my perception, it is reasonable to choose who we want to spend time with...where, why and when.

        If we choose NOT to spend time with a person, there's no need for animosity toward each other.

        Animosity: "ill will or resentment tending toward active hostility".

        Ill will, resentment and active hositlity are choices. To continue animosities "TOWARD EACH OTHER" takes two people.

        When we choose NOT to participate as individuals, it TOTALLY breaks the cycle of animosity. If the other person wants to feel, or practice animosity, it is a choice s/he makes in every moment. You do not have to follow that person's lead. Rising above such foolishness simply involves making a choice by one individual. Will it be you?
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    Jun 14 2012: It all depends on intent and perception...in my humble experience:>)