The Atrocity of Autonomy

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Autonomy….”the American Dream.” To live in a way that requires no assistance is the American way. We glorify independence. What’s the problem with autonomy anyway?

Autonomy is the socially acceptable term for arrogance. Allow me to present my appeal…

Let’s consider history and reflect upon various leaders who were known for their “arrogance.”

In Biblical times, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon built a 90 foot gold statue of his own image and demanded that all citizens bow down and worship on a daily basis.

And what about Hitler? Adolfo Hitler was so arrogant that he truly believed that an entire population should be wiped off the face of the earth and that it was his responsibility to see that it happened.

Then there was Mao and the communist party.

Such clearly defined arrogance is appalling as was the case with these 3 men. What might not be so apparently atrocious is the subtle arrogance we all practice each and every day. You may or may not consider yourself as an arrogant person which is why I am going to use myself as an example. If you find yourself nodding your ahead at any point over the next few lines, well…..(no need for me to pour salt in your wounds!)

I am the source of my own success (at least this is what I tell myself more often than I would like to admit.) I am perfectly capable of running my own business, competing as a semi-professional triathlete and providing for the financial needs of my family. I say again, this is what I tell myself…I AM AUTONOMOUSLY, I DO NOT NEED THE ASSISTANCE OF ANYONE WHEN IT COMES TO MY OWN WELL-BEING. I also say again, I am one arrogant human being. I am full of pride and self-confidence. I do because I have trained myself according to strict discipline and diligence. My success is my own…

Ok, this is the point where I descend from my “throne” and attempt to humble myself before you and speak the transparent truth about “my autonomy.”

In all honestly, I AM NOTHING WITHOUT THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS. I did not create myself, nor educate myself. I did not produce my place in this world and any success that I have attained is the result of those wise people who walked the road before me. The very best part of me is the relationships I keep, the advice I constantly seek and the values that have been bestowed upon me. My success is not my own and my life, well…IS NOT ABOUT ME.

Pride paves the way for self-centeredness and arrogance is a key indicator. Self-confidence ultimately leads to insecurity. At some point in life we all realize that we are not all that we think we might be…I HOPE YOU ARRIVE AT THE PLACE SOONER THAN I DID.

So why do I feel so strongly about the atrocity of autonomy? We only have one shot at life. Time is our most precious resource and we must spend it will. The secret to an awesomely amazing life is investing yourself rather than protecting yourself. So the next time you have the desire to swell up pride, simply look around you and you’ll see that your life is the result of an effort that is not completely and totally your own..