You know the word – even if the last time you read it was seventh grade English.  Shakespeare’s tragedies defined it.

Hubris:  excessive pride or self-confidence often combined with arrogance.

Hubris was the fatal flaw that brought down kings and deities alike. The more prideful, the greater the fall.

As we witness the worst plague of our lifetime, there is no room for pride in our leaders, let alone in ourselves.  It may bring down some – even presidents.

This new virus threatens all of us.  Hubris may be the fatal flaw.

For years I lived with a disease that threatened my life and those I loved.  In addiction, there is no room for pride.

Quite the opposite.

It was humility that sent me screaming out of fear and desperation into a church basement where others could support me. I was no match for addiction in my son.  With time and patience and the guidance of trusted souls, I got better. I am still trying to get better.

Trusted souls are there with this new disease, too.

Some speak from podiums with great flags where they spout promises that all will be well “very soon, any day” now.

Others speak more softly.  Maybe there’s a catch in their voices. They say only what they know. They are not gods. There is no hubris.

In them I hear the humility that fosters faith and offers what we all need – hope.