of dogma and arrogance

I have just completed a deal to publish an academic text. I am under no illusions that this will sell, I anticipate maybe 20 copies sold in my lifetime. Nonetheless, when a publisher approached me to publish my work, I considered the idea and decided it would be terrific. I have a tendency to talk about my life (go figure, I blog don’t I?!) and someone asked me about beliefs.
I have a very clear belief system, I am certain about what I believe and why I believe these things. I am certain because I have given the beliefs I hold much thought and some considerable examination over the years. Do I believe that what I hold to be true is in fact truth? Yes. Is this arrogance? No, I don’t think it is.
We all of us make decisions through our days, weeks, months and years. How do we decide what to do? Where to go? What to study? Our belief system informs our decision making strategy and our priorities. Therefore, if you are someone who has made decisions in your life, you are someone who has a belief system you think is right. It is just how we humans work. It is about having a confidence in your decisions because you have confidence in the foundation beneath them.
How is this different from arrogance? Arrogance is about believing you are right without examining why, and then imposing that belief on all around you. When people are afraid of challenging you, questioning you or asking about your beliefs, then you have probably behaved in a way that is arrogant. People are afraid of the arrogant because their belief system is such that they cannot stand scrutiny, and therefore they behave in a way that seems to think attack is the best form of defence.
Have you thought through your belief system? Do you live with a confidence that you know what you believe and why? If you do, then I have no doubt you also are someone who is growing and developing their beliefs – because we who examine and question, are also open to change. Celebrate your beliefs, acknowledge your dogmas and continue to pursue truth as you change and grow.

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