I can see from my blog statistics that some people have found me by searching google for “blogs.duncanroy.org”. Why do people do this? It’s the modern day equivalent of learning someone’s address and telephone number and then looking them up in the telephone directory. Talking of which, the yellow pages was delivered to my home the other day and, apart from the usual surprise that it is still going, I noticed that it was much smaller and was claiming that this was a deliberate new look! Going out of business more like… I remember when it was just a collection of yellow pages in the middle of the residential telephone directory. Better stop there. Age isn’t what it used to be.
I wouldn’t normally prosletyse. I am an atheist after all. It does seem to me that pride is a sin or a seriously anti-social thing. We rationalists don’t seem to have a convenient word which neatly sums up the same concept. Probably something to do with us not believing in God. Let’s face it, we’re not that different from the Catholics when it comes to belief, when compared to the Hindus. We just belief in one less god.
Pride is a sin because it obstructs the way of co-operative way of life, which in my view is heaven. Shortly after my sister’s death at the age of nine, I arrived at the humanist view of life. This is life, our very existence, is heaven for those of us fortunate enough to be able to enjoy it. It is hell for those who are not. It is finite for us but infinite for the creatures of heaven. The business of life will simply carry on eternally. Even if an asteroid hits this planet and wipes out life, the chances are that life will start again and there’s always going to be life on other planets. The problem self-conscious creatures such as us face, is one of the perception of time, especially once we’ve got a grip on orbital years. The passing of each of those seems to make our personal time go quicker because each one is a smaller proportion of the whole we are dealt our. Better to measure time in other ways, by non-calendrical events. This is a difficult concept to grasp. I digress. This heaven we live in, we contribute to. Our duty, our moral code, our very best hope of enlightenment is to help others appreciate this heaven. Pride gets in the way of that.
I suffered from excessive pride for much of my youth. Naturally, I still suffer from it. We all do. Pride is not being able to say sorry when you got something wrong or may have got something wrong. These days I err on the side of apology and know I get it wrong all too often. Of course, it would be better if I didn’t have so much to apologise for and I’m working on that.
I know someone (she used to be a friend) who has been steadfast in her refusal to apologise for being rude to me, despite my many requests that she does so. I have explained over and over again why I considered her to be rude. Unfortunately, I got angry at her for her refusal to apologise and, consequently, did some bad things. Since then I have put distance between me and her, then apologised to her and others three times for the bad things and finally have re-established a working relationship with her. Clearly I still suffer from an excess of pride and so does she. Only this morning she sent me an email citing the rudeness I complained of and explaining it away but still no apology. I can understand if someone refuses to apologise for something they did which is illegal, where an apology is an admission of legal culpability. It might be wrong but I can understand that. However, I cannot understand this woman’s need to decline to apologise when it maintains bad feeling. For her, sorry seems to be the hardest word.
Five months have now passed since the incident of her rudeness and still she declines to apologise. That is a lot of water under the bridge and so I don’t feel angry at her any more, just sad for her. However, I’m not stupid and won’t be helping her out anymore – what would be the point? That isn’t pride on my part, that is realising that some people in this heaven can’t be helped by me. That is enlightenment. Oh yes! Come on ye faithful and find enlightenment with Scrapper Duncan!