There aren’t many occasions where arrogance is justified. If you’ve never made a mistake in your life, never taken the long way round to do something and never stepped on anyone’s toes doing it then congratulations: you are Jesus Christ, or one of the many other deified or venerated individuals with whom I am less familiar, and fully entitled to demand the slavish worship of the masses. I hereby bow down before you, you god, you.
On the other hand, if you’re just a mortal human being with all the inherent errors and sinful ways attached to that state, then you might want to stop and think what it’s like to be a different but similarly inflicted mortal. Particularly, say, someone who’s slightly unfamiliar with the subject and is seeking further discussion, someone who has unwittingly admitted a minor error whilst in search of information regarding a larger problem, or even someone who just didn’t get it the first time round.
Telling someone they’re stupid isn’t useful. Telling them why they’ve done something stupid, and giving them some hints as to how to end the stupidity, is. If you don’t have time to discuss the whys and hows then you could save even more time by refraining from criticism in the first place.
We all know this already. I do try to bear these rules in mind when making comments myself, but in that I’m also human. So are other people, and I would no doubt do well to remember that, and be gentler in my criticism.
Most recently, I paraphrased someone’s comment which, in my not-so-humble opinion, was arrogant. I did this to demonstrate their arrogance to them. The commenter wasn’t very helpful… but in hindsight I don’t think I was either. Someone else then told me (justifiably, and what a beautiful expression) to “valet park my high horse”. Why his high horse has the right to kick my high horse when it’s busy kicking someone else’s, without expecting to get kicked itself, I’m not sure… but it did make me think of the infinite cat project, and draw some interesting parallels…
Without grovelling (cos I don’t think I’ve been that bad) I’d like to extend my apologies to anyone I’ve offended lately, particularly the RSPCHH.