IntroductionVanity is excessive pride in oneself, which sort of manifests itself in sheer arrogance. The people who have a vanity in their blood tend to treat every other single human being, particularly those who are not economically so well off as they are, with contempt and disrespect. They do this to elders too. There are hundreds of case studies where such Vanity has totally destroyed even families. It does teach the worst of values to children, who start imagining that money is everything. In this article, an attempt is made to discuss excessive Vanity and the accompanying arrogance with respect to the bad effects on a) human relationships within family circles b) inter-personal relationships at office c) illusion of all kinds d) detachment from wider realities of life and e) health of those who possess it.
Bad effects on human relationships within family circlesThis is a true story. The grandparents of the girl, very badly affected, still live in Bangalore. The girl's mother was very beautiful when she was young. The mother and consequently, the father of the girl thought that her beauty will bring for her the most handsome person on earth, as a husband.
There was a big background to how the girl started to think that she was so beautiful and all other people were/are dirt. Her mother was with her parents when her father (the girl's grandfather) was posted on an assignment by the Government of India, in Kenya. The girl's mother, an ordinary graduate, who was quite beautiful over three decades ago, was seen by a man from the same community, but settled in Nairobi, in Kenya. He proposed to marry her. And he came proposing straight to the parents of the girl's parents ( that is, the grandparents of the girl under reference).
The big catch was the age difference. He was 14 plus years elder to her. The relatives on either side were very unhappy, However, since he was filthy rich, the girl was literally coaxed by the parents to marry the rich man. This fellow had Vanity written large on his face and behaviour. He would not even say hello to anyone whom he felt had a poorer economic status -- even to his closest relatives. The couple had a boy and a girl.
The girl grew up in Bangalore where her parents had settled down, and according to typical Tamil Brahmin custom, a well-settled Canada-based engineer was arranged. The engagement function was also over. Within a month, the girl attended the wedding of a close friend, whose husband was richer than her fiancee. The girl gave some useless excuse to call off the marriage. It was wrongly alleged that the boy's parents had hidden the fact that the mother of the boy had cancer. This was proved untrue later. The parents played ball. The arrogant father thought that his daughter was destined to marry some very rich and handsome person. His wife, that is, the mother of the girl also thought so.
That never happened. Every single proposal that came up had the boy's parents digging deep to check the background. They would quietly withdraw after they knew the previous story. The boy whose wedding was called off had then married an excellent chartered accountant. When the people contacted the family, the boy's parents told all the truth. Eight years later, when the girl was 33, there was huge anxiety. Through Facebook, she became friendly with a person nine years elder and somehow married him. The parents had to agree, even when the man was from a not-so-great family. All this happened since the girl had her own Vision about her beauty. She would compare herself to Miss India and so on. She was no more beautiful and had to be dressed up in a huge beauty parlour for three hours to look presentable, during the wedding.
Vanity and arrogance can run entire lives. The aforesaid case study is highly significant because the Vanity of the father had a disastrous effect on the girl. None of the relatives respects the family today.
Similarly, so many rich parents who had Vanity writ large on their faces and behaviour, when young, land up in old age homes, with none to care for them. The relatives who are not respected at all, never turn up, even on emergencies. None care for them. Their own sons and daughters imbibe all the negative qualities of the parents.
Bad effects on inter-personal relationships at officeThis happens when the person is highly qualified, with a degree from abroad. He or she would tend to treat all others as doormats. Normally, such people with Vanity, make too many enemies. When they go to another organization, they repeat their old behaviours. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It becomes a very dangerous trend that destroys the person. When they become old, they realize all their folly. But it is often too late.
Illusions of all kindsIllusions of all kinds are so common among people with Vanity and arrogance. They tend to think the world is for them. Harish ( name changed) was a brilliant engineer. But only that. He often thought that the world was made for him. When driving his own car near Coimbatore, on the way to Palghat, he met with a nasty accident and one of his legs was amputated. He had to be bedridden for months together. Many relatives, whom he thought would come running for his money, never turned up. The hired servants did some job, but could not immerse themselves in any serious caring and sharing.
It was then that Harish understood all his folly. He profusely apologized to his close friends and his relatives. His change of heart made them realize that he really needed help. The mother of one of his close friends did all the cooking, while another friend ( who was badly treated by Harish earlier) did all the running around to get him medicines, and arrange for the Jaipur artificial foot. This took Harish a full nine months.
Sometimes, it takes such a horrible accident to bring people down to earth. It is only then that they realize that their negative attitudes centred around vanity and arrogance, could have been avoided in the first place.
Detachment from wider realities of lifeThis is the most unfortunate thing. Those with Vanity and arrogance tend to treat the economically poor as dirt. They assume that they are very bad people. Even today, there are thousands who assume that slum dwellers are very bad people, with very poor morals and ought to swindle money or rob them.
When there is a riot or a major calamity like floods, it is these people who gather in hundreds and save lives. Many of them are trained swimmers. They quickly plunge into action. They did exactly this during the 2015 Chennai floods, that destroyed entire families and killed so many people.
Those with Vanity and arrogance repent for their misconceptions and wrong perceptions when they are faced with such calamities and then realize their folly. It often dawns on them rather late.
The sum and substance of this are: let us not have Vanity and arrogance in our blood. Let us not think that our money will save us. It will not. When the times are bad, no matter how rich we are, we get equally if not more, affected. At our advanced age, it is only our good deeds that will still keep our close friends and relatives around. Those who are not economically well off, are also good people. They are the really good people who do not normally aspire for more money and do not show off in the first instance. Hence we are in the safe zone as far as these people are concerned. Let us be pragmatic and realistic at all times.
Health of those who have Vanity and arroganceSince the lure of money masks most of their negative behaviour, they tend to do all the bad things when they are young and in positions of power. However, when they become middle-aged and when faced with problems of their children, they often realize their folly. In particular, the early and mid-forties brings hypertension, a whole of bad effects on their health like high blood pressure, piles and so on. One complication leads to another. When things go very badly out of order, they are not ready to face the realities. Their health deteriorates even further. It is then that the richer relatives who had hung around for their wealth and their influence in society, would tend to ditch them slowly, but steadily. This event brings in more health problems. In fact, I have this sequence of health-related issues play out with monotonous regularity in at least seven cases, all in three different metro cities. In the first case study discussed above, the parents of the girl who still have money, never have people around. They are left to fend for themselves and old age is now telling on the very arrogant father. The grandfather, who is eighty plus, is now even more of a puppet since he is also not able to move around. They are somewhat happy that their grand-daughter is now okay and living a middle-class life in Dubai.
ConclusionAs a rule, there is more to life, than mere money. Those who have Vanity and arrogance writ large on their faces, do face all the consequences, when the going is not okay. When they advance in age, they realize all their folly, but it is too late. None of us, the normal human beings that we are, irrespective of our economic status, should ever have Vanity and arrogance, in our blood.