The Cost of Arrogance

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By Pete Schroeder

Hey Boomers, does this sound familiar …

Me: “I’ll never need glasses. I see great – long-distance and close up. I will never need glasses.” I thought, “I’m not like other people. I’ll be fine.” Then, I hit 40. My arm wasn’t long enough to read the numbers on a dollar bill when I played Liar’s Poker with friends. Enter: bifocals.

Me: I’d seldom wear a seat belt while driving. Whenever my young son was in the car, he’d say, “Dad… seatbelt!” and I’d oblige, even though I thought, “I’m not like other people. I’m a safe driver. I’ll be fine.” Since the day I got a ticket for not wearing one, I always put it on before I shift into Drive. Duh.

Me: “I take care of myself – I only get colds, or occasionally the flu.” I thought, “I’m not like other people. I’ll be fine.” Then, I hit 50. Blood in my urine indicated an enlarged prostate. When I hit 70, I had TURP surgery. Ouch!

In my teens, I was a lifeguard at a public pool. Yet, year after year after year, I rarely put on sunscreen. Why should I? “I’m not like other people. I’ll be fine,” I’d think, denying, in my arrogance, every one of the aforementioned incidents.

Well, guess what I found out yesterday? The little growth on the side of my neck is a squamous cell carcinoma, a “local” form of skin cancer. Yes, I will wear sunscreen every day. I’m wearing it as I type.

I’m sharing this because the cost of arrogance is serious. Or, if you think I didn’t know any better, you could call it ignorance. If you think I did know better, yet made my decisions in defiance (which is true), it’s arrogance, or stubbornness, or stupidity.

If you’re not wearing a mask when you go out, do you think, “I’m not like other people. I’ll be fine.” Are you being ignorant, or arrogant, stubborn, or stupid? You know better. You’ve heard the recommendations from the medical professionals. 

(Yes, I always wear a mask when I go out.)

Novak Djokovic (#1 ranked men’s tennis pro) recently hosted a tennis exhibition, in spite of many warnings against it. He is young, and very fit. It was recently announced he and his wife tested positive for COVID-19. He was arrogant.

You have many folks who love you, who care about you, who need you. Be responsible – for them. Be smart – for them. Be aware of the cost of arrogance – for them.

For more information on Pete, visit www.peteschroeder.com.

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