We, each of us, need so much to be affirmed. For each of us has–gnawing away at the center of our being–a sense of insecurity, some more than others. And frequently, the more insecure, the more aggressive we come. The more we throw our weight about and say people should recognize us. — Desmond Tutu.
Sound familiar? How many have you known in your life who underneath their bluster were very insecure? I once had to have a difficult talk with a colleague. He treated the staff terribly. He didn’t see his demeanor and behavior as inappropriate, but over time I finally asked, “James, why are you so insecure?” At the root of his inappropriate behavior was nothing more than insecurity. He got better, not perfect, none of us are, but better.
Bishop Tutu’s words give me pause about myself and my own insecurities. My coaches use to use shame and insecurity to motivate us to be more aggressive on the football field, but that’s about the only place where aggression is an attribute. Humility is not the same as shame. When we are truly humble we are more inclined to be at peace nor aggressive.
I tell myself to examine my anger — is it about injustice or my own insecurity. If it is the latter then I need to work on myself not some one else.