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M’membe warns against vanity

WE seem to live in a society that is increasingly becoming dominated by vanity, says Socialist Party president Fred M’membe.

Dr M’membe said inflated views of the self were the rule not the exception.

“Recognising our own vanity, fessing up to it, is rare. We all want to be seen to be smart, and we will stop for nothing – including cheating, lying, deceit, posturing, pretence – to achieve that desired image. Vanity causes us to go to extremes to fit in. Vanity is one of the main sins that plagues our society today,” he said.

Dr M’membe said much of the country and economy was built on people’s vanities.

He said the price of vanity was high.

“Vanity is dangerous to ourselves and to our society. Admitting you’re wrong is hard. We are all opinionated and want to be right. Why? Because being wrong would destroy our perfect little image we have worked so hard to build,” he said. “The downside is that if no one is wrong, who is right? We may believe we are right, but in reality we are merely pushing the truth away. And one day, it will sneak up and really bite us. Truth has a funny way of doing that. But if you are so full of vanity and conceit that it shows, you are telling everyone that you cannot be trusted.”

Dr M’membe said vanity causes obsession.

“If you are obsessed with yourself, then that is the only person you truly care about. Conceited people do not have what it takes to be a friend. They do not have what it takes to be a leader. You cannot count on them. They are untrustworthy,” he said. “Self-obsession leads to narrow mindedness which may temporarily blind you to your flaws, but eventually you are going to fail big time. You will fail big enough that not even your skewed view of yourself will shadow it from your eyes. Once you cross over to vanity, you lose your self-awareness. You lose accountability for who you are.”

He said the truth was that vanity stems from insecurity.

Dr M’membe said in reality, vain people were very insecure.

He said they constantly seek praise and affirmation from others.

Dr M’membe said they want to be cool and fit in.

“Yes, you may be smart. But never lose sight of the fact that you are very small in this old society. You are not as powerful as you’d like to think. Be humble. Let go of all that pride. Do not let this deadly sin take control of your life or our society,” said Dr M’membe.

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