I remember once when I was much younger, and when I had much more hair. I had just finished driving 4 aggravating hours on the freeways of Southern California. With my disheveled appearance, looking upwards above my official military style sunglasses to see. I pressed the up arrow on the elevator of a pseudo luxury hotel. The elevator door opened; there were a few children, and a couple of adults as I entered the elevator. Since access to the buttons was blocked, I remember asking someone to press my floor number. I remember to this day a white elderly gentleman, with a swimming trunk, and protruding abdomen abruptly looking at me with disdain, and stating with a heavy European accent“ Say please when you ask”. At that moment, I could feel the eyes of everyone on the elevator staring at me. I wanted someone to come to my aid, but the grimace of the stranger kept on increasing. Before I could compose myself and defend myself from the scrutiny of this stranger, the elevator door opened for my floor. As I exited, I could still feel the glare of the stranger, and the silence of the others.
Until recently, I had relived the occurrence many times. I know that I had said please as I usually do. But maybe the gentlemen did not hear me. But what right did he have to correct me? In the Tip of the Writing Brush is the following verse.
Take no short cuts, have no greed or arrogance.
Just take the true and straight path. 5-30
Arrogance by definition is an attitude of superiority. To judge someone because of appearance or action is arrogance. This elderly man did not know anything about me, and presumed that I did not have manners. He had arrogance in his heart at that moment.
Many times even if we think that we have the information about a particular person, we do not have all the information. That is why we must never be arrogant and judge a person as good or bad. Only God may make that decision. That is why we cannot have enmity for people whose action that we cannot understand or do not approve. I think sometimes they help us realize our evils (greed, arrogance, and self love) in our minds. It is with the mind set, that instead of acting against them, we should set out to purify our minds first; and then pray to God to sweep the evils (greed, arrogance, and self love) of others.