When you're your parents' one shot at a genetic legacy, you may get to attend all the best schools, wear all the best clothes and eat all the best foods - at least relative to children in multiple-sibling households. But you also wind up with an overweening sense of your own importance.
The outstretched arms of Jesus exclude no one, not the drunk in the doorway, the panhandler on the street, gays and lesbians in their isolation, the most selfish and ungrateful in their cocoons, the most unjust of employers and the most overweening of snobs. The love of Christ embraces all without exception.
But if modesty is interpreted not as diffidence or self-effacingness, but as non-overweening, a realistic assessment of the job to be done and one's ability to do it, then you might say the chief virtue of excellent artists is their modesty... But knowing your limits and going to them isn't arrogance. It's greatness of spirit.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Every man carries about him a touchstone, if he will make use of it, to distinguish substantial gold from superficial glitterings, truth from appearances. And indeed the use and benefit of this touchstone, which is natural reason, is spoiled and lost only by assuming prejudices, overweening presumption, and narrowing our minds.
I shall not vote for Sen. Obama and it will not be because he-like me and like all of us-carries African genes. And I shall not be voting for Mrs. Clinton, who has the gall to inform me after a career of overweening entitlement that there is 'a double standard' at work for women in politics; and I assure you now that this decision of mine has only to do with the content of her character. We will know that we have put this behind us when [... ] we have outgrown and forgotten the original prejudice.
The communism of combined wealth and capital, the outgrown of overweening cupidity and selfishness which assiduously undermines the justice and integrity of free institutions, is not less dangerous than the communism of oppressed poverty and toil which, exasperated by injustice and discontent, attacks with wide disorder the citadel of misrule.
Greek myths are heroic, noble and tragic; but the American Dream is heroic, comical, and uplifting. Americans are a people in whom overweening ambition is rewarded, not punished. The Wright Brothers did not have their wings melt when they flew too high. Perhaps their wings were more soundly built than those of Icarus.
John C. Wright
The talk shows are stuffed full of sufferers who have regained their health--congressmen who suffered through a serious spell of boozing and skirt-chasing, White House aides who were stricken cruelly with overweening ambition, movie stars and baseball players who came down with acute cases of wanting to trash hotel rooms while under the influence of recreational drugs. Most of them have found God, or at least a publisher.
According to my observations, mankind are among the most easily tamable and domesticable of all creatures in the animal world . They are readily reducible to submission, so readily conditionable (to coin a word) as to exhibit an almost incredibly enduring patience under restraint and oppression of the most flagrant character. So far are they from displaying any overweening love of freedom that they show a singular contentment with a condition of servitorship, often showing a curious canine pride in it, and again often simply unaware that they are existing in that condition.
Albert J. Nock
Many older wealthy families have learned to instill a sense of public service in their offspring. But newly affluent middle-classparents have not acquired this skill. We are using our children as symbols of leisure-class standing without building in safeguards against an overweening sense of entitlement--a sense of entitlement that may incline some young people more toward the good life than toward the hard work that, for most of us, makes the good life possible.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that a planned economy is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralisation of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured?
Nevertheless, the potential and actual importance of fantastic literature lies in such psychic links: what appears to be the result of an overweening imagination, boldly and arbitrarily defying the laws of time, space and ordered causality, is closely connected with, and structured by, the categories of the subconscious, the inner impulses of man's nature. At first glance the scope of fantastic literature, free as it is from the restrictions of natural law, appears to be unlimited. A closer look, however, will show that a few dominant themes and motifs constantly recur: deals with the Devil; returns from the grave for revenge or atonement; invisible creatures; vampires; werewolves; golems; animated puppets or automatons; witchcraft and sorcery; human organs operating as separate entities, and so on. Fantastic literature is a kind of fiction that always leads us back to ourselves, however exotic the presentation; and the objects and events, however bizarre they seem, are simply externalizations of inner psychic states. This may often be mere mummery, but on occasion it seems to touch the heart in its inmost depths and become great literature.
It is a great wonder How Almighty God in his magnificence Favors our race with rank and scope And the gift of wisdom; His sway is wide. Sometimes He allows the mind of a man Of distinguished birth to follow its bent, Grants him fulfillment and felicity on earth And forts to command in his own country. He permits him to lord it in many lands Until the man in his unthinkingness Forgets that it will ever end for him. He indulges his desires; illness and old age Mean nothing to him; his mind is untroubled By envy or malice or thought of enemies With their hate-honed swords. The whole world Conforms to his will, he is kept from the worst Until an element of overweening Enters him and takes hold While the soul's guard, its sentry, drowses, Grown too distracted. A killer stalks him, An archer who draws a deadly bow. And then the man is hit in the heart, The arrow flies beneath his defenses, The devious promptings of the demon start. His old possessions seem paltry to him now. He covets and resents; dishonors custom And bestows no gold; and because of good things That the Heavenly powers gave him in the past He ignores the shape of things to come. Then finally the end arrives When the body he was lent collapses and falls Prey to its death; ancestral possessions And the goods he hoarded and inherited by another Who lets them go with a liberal hand. 'O flower of warriors, beware of that trap. Choose, dear Beowulf, the better part, Eternal rewards. Do not give way to pride. For a brief while your strength is in bloom But it fades quickly; and soon there will follow Illness or the sword to lay you low, Or a sudden fire or surge of water Or jabbing blade or javelin from the air Or repellent age. Your piercing eye Will dim and darken; and death will arrive, Dear warrior, to sweep you away.