Arrogance and egotism are inevitable features of being a person in society.
These views come part in parcel with our ongoing evaluation of ourselves in relation to others. It is important to recognize that as long as we interact with other people, we will always to some degree require validation of our views and behaviours.
There are almost no people who genuinely do not care what other people think of them, but this only becomes a problem when we care so much that we assume ourselves to be better than other people.
Arrogance can occur for many reasons, but usually it is based on pride and our desire to have some special defining characteristic that gives us social status. Does this occur naturally, or as a result of perversion of our nature?
“all the gold and jade in the palace can not be protected,
being rich, powerful, and arrogant is a punishment in itself.
after you have finished your work, disappear your body back into the Dao.”
This passage is a good explanation of how we can contextualize our own importance in the world and why it is not permanent.
Even if you are very rich, it is always possible to lose that money and the status that comes with it. Not even a bank account or safety deposit box can protect your riches in an absolute sense, and it is always possible that the economy could take a bad turn, or that someone could steal your savings. There is no physical object which can be saved, not even our own bodies. If we understand that all physical items are transitive, then we have no reason to be proud of our riches, our skill, or any other item that we own or represent. If, on the other hand, we choose to treat our wealth, our status, and other things as a reason to be proud and arrogant, we ultimately set ourselves up for a negative surprise when suddenly something causes us to lose that status.
“why are favour and disgrace both to be feared?
Because one can fall from favour, when one gains it, he will be afraid, if he loses it he will be afraid. That is why favour and disgrace are both to be feared.”
So regardless of whether we do or do not possess some sort of prestige or benefit, we ought to be circumspect about it and not assume ourselves to be wonderful, or somehow naturally deserving of it. It is much better for us to simply be thankful for what we have and if we want to get more, to work hard and earn it, while recognizing that it could disappear at any time. this can allow us to make a backup plan, and always be ready for the bumps along the road of life. This type of circumspection can assist us in making better decisions, being kinder people, and being less insufferable in our dealings with others