Just what is pride and why do so many philosophers believe it comes before a fall?
To be honest, pride is an emotion to nothing.
How does it serve a man to be proud? So often we hear people saying how proud they are of their country but all too often, this pride is based upon ignorance of what their country actually stands for and what it promotes outside its’ own borders.
I am very proud of my parents because, against enormous adversity, they managed to live a fairly normal life and coped, not only with their own illnesses but with mine and with my younger brother’s independence. They were so disadvantaged that as soon as I was four years old and could read, I became their guardian (for want of a better word). At this time I was not proud of them but this was the time when my pride would have served them well and bolstered their determination to overcome everything life threw at them. They are both dead now and I don’t think I said, even once, that I was proud of them. My pride was MINE – I did not want to share it like I shared love. Like a miser, I gathered my pride to myself and hoarded it.
Many people tell me that I should be proud of the fact that I have lived for so long in ill health. They call me a hero, sometimes. Why should they be proud of me simply because I continue to live? I am not brave – I just don’t want to die and living is the only alternative. I am proud of my children but I often get the feeling that this pride dilutes the love I feel for them. The energy expended in being proud has to come from somewhere and I sincerely believe that it comes from my capacity to love and express that love.
If you really think about it, pride serves no purpose.
Pride in oneself and one’s own achievements is vainglorious while pride in others simply illustrates an inability to feel anything more directly related to that in which you have pride. One of the really sad aspects of pride is that many people are proud (of their country, for example) because it is expected of them. To them, pride is just another word for another intangible in their lives.