Don’t be Kanye, West Texas

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Kanye West believes that everyone knows who he is. The self-absorbed rapper even goes as far as to consider himself a god. In one of his most controversial radio interviews, he says: “I am Warhol. I am the number one most impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh. Walt Disney. Nike. Google. Now who’s gonna be the Medici family and stand up and let me create more; or do you wanna marginalize me ’til I’m out of my moment.”

And that’s just a bite-sized excerpt from one of his many egoistic rants. The big-talking rapper even has song lyrics that say, “I love you like Kanye loves Kanye” — which is obviously a lot if he is rapping about loving himself in third person.

While Kanye West is convinced that he is a prevalent American household name, many of our readers in Pecos County are unaware of his fame in its entirety. Which is not a bad thing, trust me. But since I’ve painted a quick picture of who Kanye is, my advice is to be the opposite of his vain character.

Now, I’m happy that you’re reading this, I’m going to let you finish, but first I need to clarify that this is not a hit piece against Kanye himself. This is a hit piece against having too much pride.

We can easily become like Kanye if we allow our pride to run wild. I struggle with my pride and ego all the time. Let’s face it; we all do.

The reason being prideful is so infectious is because our society urges everyone to overly love themselves. Sociologist are saying this is by far the most narcissistic culture that has ever existed. I blame social media.

Pastor and Author Francis Chan said, “We think it’s normal and acceptable for every single person in our country to create a page talking about themselves. Wanting everyone to look at themselves.”

There’s a large population of social media users who have a Kanye-sized pride, and to fire up such a pride you need comparison and greed working together.

When you compare your car, your house, your job — your comparison pours the gasoline. When you desire to one-up someone with a newer car, a bigger house, and a better job — your greed lights the match. And then, BOOM! Your pride explodes into a competitive inferno.

The Chinese philosopher Xun Kuang said, “Pride and excess bring

disaster for man.” Regarding excess (greed), my advice is to avoid the desire of finer things if it’s for a sense of self-importance or to place others beneath you.

In saying that, how can we defeat the venomous pride and greed? In my opinion, novelist C.S. Lewis had the best hunch when he wrote, “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man... It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.”

Ridding ourselves of all competitive motives is the anti-venom for poisonous pride. There’s an online meme (humorous image with text) that says: “Humility never loses. You can’t beat me if I’m not competing and comparing with you.” Humility and contentment is the cure for comparison and greed.

Going back to Kanye’s infamous interview, he measured himself to Andy Warhol, William Shakespeare, and Walt Disney. Well I’d like to share a quote from each of the three great influencers myself.

On greed Disney said, ““Money doesn’t excite me, my ideas excite me.”

On being content, Warhol said, “You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.”

On pride, Shakespeare said, “Tis pride that pulls the country down.”

While Kanye may be outrageously arrogant, he made a valid point when he said, “We’re at war with terrorism, racism, but most of all we’re at war with ourselves.”

When we’re continuously competing against our peers, it’s not an attack on them. It’s an attack on ourselves. At the end of the day, we’re stressed out from trying to match up to other people’s lives. Let’s strive to be happy with who we are and what we have.

Don’t be Kanye, West Texas. Humility always wins.

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