is an amazing thing--how many people have lived frustrated, lonely lives
because of pride? We're fortunate to live in a world that fosters
something like pride less than it has been fostered in the past, but many
people still cling to their pride as if it were their sole meaningful
possession on earth, the only thing that keeps them going.
problem with pride is that it's focused on who we are or what we think we
are, even though usually we have little or nothing to do with our own
circumstances. Think of the people who have been born into the upper
class, and how strongly they hold on to the pride that their social class
has instilled in them. Their pride, though, is misplaced--they have
done nothing to get where they are, and their pride in themselves is
deceitful and probably quite harmful. Their pride is based on a
system or systems that were created and forged by others before them, and
they're merely reaping the benefits of the work of others. Enjoying
the benefits is one thing, but being proud of them--there's no place for
sort of pride leads people to make poor decisions, to limit their lives in
an unlimited world. They won't have anything to do with certain
people because those people don't measure up to their standards. The
rich won't socialize with the poor, the full-timers won't socialize with
the part-timers, the beautiful won't be seen with the ugly (what will
goes before the fall, we read in Proverbs. We've all heard it.
Actually, though, this would be much more simply said "pride causes
the fall." I have never met an extremely proud person around
whom I've been comfortable, for I see them sabotaging their own lives over
and over again, limiting themselves to whatever's "acceptable"
to them in their circumstances.
I see them treat other people as
inferiors, completely ignoring the fact that every person they mistreat
was created by the same God who created them. I've seen them insult
and ridicule and hold others in disdain, all for the sake of maintaining
their own pride. You see, they're fooling themselves into thinking
that they have power, but they'll find out that the power they have is
limited to times when things are going well. Once things start going
poorly, they'll see just how powerless they truly are--their pride has
kept them from seeing aspects of their lives that they need to work on,
has kept them from seeing gaps in their knowledge and ability.
is blinding, and there is none so poor as the one who is not able to see
things as they truly are. Physical blindness is not nearly as
debilitating as spiritual or mental blindness, and the proud people of the
world cannot claim to see. Humility is the opposite of pride, and
the humble have a very good vision of just where they stand in the
world. Give me a poor humble person to be with before a rich proud
person any day. With the humble person, I'll learn of the world and
of other people and of life; with the proud person, I'll learn only about
that person and what makes him or her so "great." And I
won't even believe the person.
who live in situations that generally foster pride but who hold on to
their humility are among the most admirable people I know.
Everything is working on them to make them proud, yet they keep a healthy
perspective, and they give credit where credit is due, and they don't take
it all for themselves. They still see, and they see clearly. A
man who had made millions in asphalt recently sold his business and split
the profits with the people who had worked for him over the years, turning
some into instant millionaires. He had made millions himself, and he
was willing to give it away to others. He had resisted pride, and he
and others were much happier for it.
proud of your accomplishments, but then move on to the next task--that's
where you're needed. Never let pride overwhelm you and rob you of
your ability to see the world and your place in it clearly. Learn of
life, and prepare yourself for any future by filling in your own gaps and
strengthening yourself in your weak areas.