dictionary with letter A

Arriviste: (n) an ambitious or ruthlessly self-seeking person, especially one who has recently acquired wealth or social status.

It’s the classic paradox.

For if you actually run across people who fit the definition of “arriviste,” and you decide to expose them for their chicanery, and you call them an arriviste, everyone in the room will assume you are the actual arriviste.

It’s similar to calling another person a hypocrite. He or she will immediately run through their mind-files and conjure memories of your hypocrisy.

Have you ever had the audacity to tell someone he has gained weight? What is the response? He points out that “you’re a little pudgy, yourself,” right?

It’s probably the greatest problem in religion–every faith has some sort of process by which enlightenment or salvation is achieved, which we then would like to share with others, but in so doing, somewhat have to convince them of their lack.

Then they scrutinize our lives–and often find us wanting.

Is there power in keeping your mouth shut and letting things play out?

I know there are exceptions, and of course, it is the classic Adolph Hitler syndrome. “If we had not stopped him, what would have happened?”

I must be candid. It took four years for the world to defeat him in war, but in 1940, his generals and cohorts were already losing faith in him and probably would have killed him within two.

Now, I’m not saying we wasted our time and energy by knocking off the Nazis. I’m just curious as to whether pointing out all the fallacious activity in the world is the best way to eliminate it.

For a very wise man once said, “The measure we measure out to others is the measure that will be measured back to us.”

Although I must say he used the word “measure” too much, the thought was still there.

Don’t call someone an arriviste unless you’re prepared to be called one yourself.


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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix


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