Pride–it’s what drives you and I. Here are my thoughts:
Ambition and Pride
Ambition and Pride share a bed, so to speak. Pride is a thing which you can give, take, or swallow. What’s with all that ambition though? Well, Pride is also a feeling, isn’t it?
And if the feeling is so good it’s considered a sin if you overindulge. “Don’t become a glutton!” That’s what the older folks used to say, isn’t it? Ambition is desire, drive. Another thing. It results in success. Success equals pride.
The good feeling it gives you, that sweet nectar which lights up your life–how long will it last? Longevity always relies on other factors. Doesn’t it depend on the person, too?
More, more! A tiny voice will say to you. This feeling is not enough. It can’t end! More!
Ambition and Pride lust for one another like dogs in heat. If they can’t find one another, then they’ll go on to the next best thing.
A Rose By Any Other Name
The Thesaurus and I spend a lot of time together. Jealous? Resentful? Envious?
I think not!
Self-esteem. Self-love. More words for the thing called Pride. They’re wonderful things, in just the right amounts. It’s just not socially acceptable to love yourself too much. Too much of a good thing isn’t so wonderful. It’s selfish, arrogant. Sinful.
We’re like containers. Jars, bottles, cans. Some have holes. We allow ourselves to be filled to the brim. If there are no leaks, we become insufferable. But too many leaks and there’s a problem. Dried up we look for a refill. Maybe a refuge.
A friendly face answers our call. The Other.
Not all those who seem friendly, are friendly. How do they say it? Pride goeth (or cometh) before the fall?
This leads us to to the next thought.
Remove our pride, our armour–our shield–and suddenly whatever ambitions we had can wait. A weapon, wielded by the other, the erosion of our pride–or self-esteem– has a crippling effect.
Give us a taste, watch us puff up. Suddenly we take space. Then prick us. Draw blood and watch us shrink.
Parents are an exceptional example of this. When proud of their children, they heap them with love, praise. The child can’t help but feel good, feel proud of themselves. Why, they deserve it! But, when a parent is the opposite of proud, or simply withholds love from their child–if a parent hurts the self-esteem of the child–it’ll appear as if they’ve really deboned a fish. What good is a person without a spine? With nothing to feel good about, the child will shamble along: pitiful, mad, hungry, like a junkie.
Without pride we’re naked. The problem with this is that we grow up entitled, but stupid. Some people were never taught to think for themselves. Likewise, some people were never taught to love themselves. People become dogs. Dogs are ever loyal to their masters, obeisance demonstrated through fear and adoration; they endure the gaslighting for those sweet, delicious morsels. Pieces of meat …
Good things to be proud of, confident of.
But don’t blame Pride! It’s our responsibility, after all. The onus falls on us. We must stroke our own egos. Don’t give that power to the Other. They’ll take advantage of it, and they’ll abuse you like a privilege.
But they gave us the world! They catered to us! They wrapped our world in brown kraft paper, the same kind that the butcher uses to wrap up his meat. Therein lies the problem: in being given the world, we’ve let go of ourselves. And we are all the weaker for it.
Pride isn’t the monster in this story. As a person, it’s simply the spectator.