The practice of talking and thinking about oneself excessively not only hurts the individual but it can create negative effects, especially if that person is in a position of authority. Arrogant behavior, self-absorption and vanity yields nothing but strife and it has grave ethical consequences.

When arrogance appears, disgrace follows. When folks exalt themselves there is the tendency that they praise themselves at the expense of others. Besides, they run the risk of granting themselves moral license to excuse their behavior but proclaim that rules only apply to those who are considered rivals.

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What is the alternative to vanity and self-importance? A great deal comes down to giving serious thought about one's character, actions and motives. Beyond that, practicing active listening helps develop understanding with those who hold different views.

Finally, what if more of us made an effort to practice these alternatives? Maybe there would be a healing of the divisions that plague our communities and nation.

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