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The Arrogant Bastard

by Adam Zack — May 1, 2019

“This is an aggressive beer. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth.” 

– Arrogant Bastard Ale label

Success proves you’re among the best

Is arrogance ever OK? Is it even ever acceptable? Or understandable? Or relatable? I have always despised arrogance. Remember back in school when the pretty cheerleaders and the football jocks were so “stuck up.” The good looking rich kids who thought their “s*#t didn’t stink.” I’ve met business owners who look away as they shake your hand. People along the way who just think they’re better than you and don’t give two craps about anyone that may be beneath their lofty standards.

Then a couple weeks ago we were watching Sportscenter, and I can’t remember exactly who came on – maybe Christian Yelich or James Harden – showing highlights of their amazing ability in their sport. My wife and I got talking about it and how some players (and people in general) are just so smug and how arrogance really is so ugly to her. “Wipe that smug look off your face” is a phrase I am familiar with. As we went back and forth on the subject, playing our usual verbal ping pong, I wondered aloud about the arrogant people who deserve the right to be arrogant. Is it OK? After all, there are people who are the best, the prettiest, the strongest. Through dedication and hard work, have they earned the right to say “Yeah, I know” when you tell them how great they are?

I was talking with the owner of one of the very best food stores in the country and we started talking about another store owner who was a mutual acquaintance (and does have a wonderful store). He said “That guy is just so arrogant, telling me how his deli is the best in the world and how no one does it better.” It just went against the independent spirit of humility in the face of praise. Success proves you’re among the best, and treating people like they don’t belong in the same room as you not only makes you arrogant, it makes you a bastard.

Read More – Look for the Genius in Others

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