Question of the Day
Is pride a good characteristic, or bad? Or both?
I was involved in a discussion about pride the other day. I did something that inspired someone to say “Aren’t you proud of yourself that you do that so well?” I’ve always thought that pride was a negative characteristic, and so said, “No, I’m happy I can do it, and that you can appreciate it. But I never thought of being proud of it.”
The other person went on to ask why I wasn’t proud. I told him I’ve always steered clear of pride, not wanting to seem arrogant, or conceited. I agreed with the meme below which puts pride under the ego, as a negative.
I was countered with examples where pride might be a good thing. Personal pride which inspires you to be your best self, and strive for excellence. Pride in community, where people work to improve their community. How it can be expanded to include organizations, nations, or the world. How about pride in and for our children?
Can’t pride and humility co-exist?
It seems to me that pride is a double edged sword, that there is a ying and a yang to it. There is a good side that, if a person is humble, inspires him or her to behave in ways that honor themselves and others. Then there is the other side, which is false pride, which the inspires a person believe they are better than everyone else. We all know people who are full of themselves, full of false pride. People whose pride won’t let them admit their short-comings, who can’t be accountable for their own actions. I believe there are many people, and I’m sure we’ve all known a few, who build a false pride to cover shame that they may feel, rightly or wrongly. I have known people who could not stand to be wrong. They would say whatever they had to say to excuse away some cruel, or mean, or just hurtful behavior. Their false pride kept them from facing their actions. It’s a slippery slope, once that path is started.
There is real pride though, that lifts others, I believe. Pride in being accountable, in facing the truth about yourself or a situation, inspires us to grow as humans, as communities, as nations, eventually as a world. I looked up the definition of pride and this is what Google has to say:
“a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.”
Can that be a bad thing? Only when the achievements were egoic in nature, it seems to me. If someone does something like lie for the pleasure of manipulating others thoughts, and then feels proud that they were able to do it, they have started down that slope of giving ego rein over their lives. If, on the other hand the achievements for which one is proud have helped others, and honored themselves, it’s a different story. I think in this way, pride and humility can co-exist.
So tell me what do you think? In a comment, or your own blog, share your thoughts on pride.
As, ever, love and light to all.