another response to a good question on Buddhist reddit :
Is there an antidote to arrogance?
I’m trying to become a better person, and I’ve realized that in my personal relationships I can be “knee jerk” arrogant, and at worst dismissive.
What should I focus on in order to remedy this?
Thank you for any advice.
My answer :
Question your assumptions and perceptions, always. Don’t automatically accept them. You may be right, but you also may be wrong, partially or fully. It’s very easy for you to feel you are right, on the right side of history, etc etc.
Also point the mirror to yourself whenever you act arrogant or judgmental. The Buddha tells us to not worry about the omissions and commissions of others, but to look at what you have done and not done.
Whenever a thought of arrogance or righteousness or judgement arises in my mind, I’ve trained it over years to counter with ” oh what about you? mr. high and mighty?”.. because I’ve always had a severe ingrained dislike of hypocrisy, I make sure I limit any of it coming from me. I question, investigate, listen, and because of this I see things people don’t see, and can often have a view that people ingrained into one side or another cannot.
You can see a lot of arrogance and judgement in the recent political post about compassion towards certain groups, an assumption that they know what is right, they have the answers, the other side is totally wrong and bad… this is what leads to suffering, for themselves and others. The Buddha put it in a way that they believe ” only this is true/right, anything else is false/wrong”.
Life is not fully and only black and white, no matter how much our ancient monkey brains wish it to be, it’s a confusing multitude of grey inbetween the extremes of black and white, and it’s very easy for us failable beings to be utterly ignorant and blind, you should keep that in mind for yourself and for others who you will engage with.
“Bhāradvāja, for a sensible person who is a protector of truth, these are not sufficient reasons to arrive at a definite conclusion that ‘Only this is true, everything else is false.’”