Pride

Art:

I COMPLETED this 14” x 18” Acrylic in March from a photo reference, taken more than 40 years ago, of our home on Altadena Street, in Royal Oak, Michigan.

I chose to use it in relation to today’s Thought—Pride. Built more than a 100 years ago, this was our Thomason family home before we moved to Minnesota in 1983.  I basically renovated nearly everything inside and out. During my college and early married years, I spent six years as a subcontractor installing aluminum siding and trim. My last renovation was to design and install everything you see here with aluminum siding and trim. I am proud (in a good sense!) of how it turned out. 

Thought:

Are You A Proud Person?

IF ASKED, “Are you a Proud person?” how would you respond? Answering accurately may present a challenge.  Allowed to think about your answer, you might actually say, “Yes, and No.”, it depends on what you mean by ‘Proud’.”  Therein lies the difficulty.  I’ve recently been thinking and reading about ‘Pride’ to gain a better understanding why we may struggle answering the question: “Are you a ‘Proud’ Person?”. Here, in short form, is what, seems to me, to connect the dots.

IN ENGLISH we may use the word ‘Pride’ as a brand name for furniture polish; to describe a public march for different demographics as ‘(blank) Pride’ or ‘Proud to be an American’.  Trying to define the word by the many ways we use it isn’t much help.

Good Pride…Bad Pride?

PRIDE IS ONE of those words difficult to define in simple English.  I suspect one might reach the same conclusion attempting to define its equivalent in any other language.  At the risk of oversimplifying, I suggest ‘Pride’ may be painted in either of two broad strokes: Good pride or Bad pride.

Good Pride

ACCORDING TO Wikipedia: “Pride is a positive emotional response or attitude to something with an intimate connection to oneself, due to its perceived value. This may be one’s own abilities or achievements, positive characteristics of friends or family, or one’s country.”  This sounds positive and may be illustrated in a number of ways:  The pleasure in being praised with “Well done!”. The pleasure lies not in what you are but in the fact that you have pleased someone you sincerely wanted to please.  Being ‘Proud of’ your son or daughter means one has a warm-hearted admiration for…

Bad Pride

C. S. LEWIS, writing in the 1940s, tackled Pride in its negative form. “There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves…The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility…According to Christian teachers the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride.  Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are merely fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil:  Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind…”  [1]   

Pride & Harmful Competition


LEWIS CONTINUES: “…Pride is essentially competition by its very nature, while the other vices are competitive, so to speak, by accident… Once the element of competition is gone the Pride is gone… the Proud man, even when he has got more than he can possibly want, will try to get still more just to assert his power… as long as there is one man in the whole world who is more powerful, or richer, or cleverer than I am, he is my rival and my enemy… [This] Pride is a spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.”

Pride’s Ultimate Consideration

GOOD PRIDE’S danger is to become self-centered to the extent that he or she takes credit for all things in one’s life and acts as ultimately in personal control—“I am God.” The warning in Ezekiel comes to mind: “Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “‘In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” But you are a mere mortal and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god.  Ezekiel 28:2

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.  Proverbs 16:18

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.  Proverbs 29:33


[1] Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis, 1943 page 94

8 thoughts on “Pride

    1. Thanks Doug! I always appreciate hearing from you. Some day we must make it happen to have coffee and ‘catch up’ on life. I miss our discussions over coffee. Have a great week!

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  1. It was a beauty for sure Jim. I wish folks would have pride in their homes and property as we did back then.

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    1. Tony, it was good to hear from you. Yes, that house on Altadena is my favorite for many reasons. I expect you are still in Florida? Have a great week and thanks again for responding.

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  2. Great post, Dad! Such great memories from that house on Altadena. I work for PRIDE Industries, the largest not for profit in the country with a mission to create jobs for people with disabilities. We generate a lot of the good pride for people who, in many cases, have never had a job before. It’s fun!

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    1. Thanks, Jim, for your kind words and memories. May your faithful efforts at PRIDE be instrumental in creating good pride in many lives for years to come! Look forward to our Monday evening Zooms with all four of us.

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