Mid morning Sunday. I’ve started my second cup of Earl Grey (steeped for precisely 3 minutes, with 3 teaspoons of sugar). The house is still quiet save the low rumble of the AC, and the not so low rumblings from the dishwasher I forgot to run last night.
My morning ritual is probably not unlike yours; a cup or two of something strong to jump-start the blood flow, and a quick perusal of social media, the news, what have you.
And there are probably many of you who have all kinds of daily app notifications vying for attention. Some days these get more of a look than others, but part of my particular routine is “the word of the day” in my dictionary app.
Yeah, I know...nerd! What can I say? I love words and reading, and I like to think this aging dog can still learn a new trick (or word) or two.
Cry “hubris!” some may say.
Hubris. Now there’s a great word.
Normally, I’d be a nice person and give you the meaning. But the second cup of Grey hasn’t worked that particular magic yet this morning. I imagine you probably already know the word or will pop open a browser and look it up. We do hold most of the sum of all knowledge literally in the palms of our hands.
Sorry. I digress.
“Hubris” seems to be the word of the year here in America. Shelter at home? No way! I won’t get sick. Wear a mask? This is the US of A and I got rights! #Merica!
Most of the world learned early on the lesson of what it would take to weather this pandemic, and made the appropriate personal sacrifices. But for whatever reason, here in the United States we have 149,000+ sacrifices to date (and rising).
We Americans pride ourselves as the #NeverForget country. What about...
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Alatiana Jefferson, Aura Rosset, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Philandro Castille, Alton Sterling, and more and more names than should be listed in this grim roll call. They are more than names, but people with lives and families and stories that stopped in mid-sentence, plans and dreams never fulfilled.
Amazing how one small word can vivisect our “greatness.”
The Earl Grey now coursing through my bloodstream has done its task. Here’s the definition of my Word of the Year:
excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance
Ugh. Lest you think I am myself innocent, I confess to many times falling victim to my own hubris. It’s not pretty.
It could be hubris to think that you might actually still be reading these words of mine. That’s okay; my “logophilia” is beyond cure (look it up lol). I believe every creative person feels the burn when the words are flowing (or melodies, paints, etc.).
If nothing else, the words of mine remind me to get my head out of my hubris, today and every day.
Justice for the forgotten, peace for the troubled, and mercy for us all.