For some reason there seem to be two approaches to the word ‘pride’. You can be a) proud because you did something well or b) proud and arrogant, because you think yourself better than others. When searching for appropriate quotes, I found among others this one:
“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Apparently, pride is a bad thing. Being pride means being stuck-up. But why? There is also the good part about pride after all. You are very right to be pride when you get your diploma for example. Why is this word such an ambiguous one?
You see, there is also this quote:
“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Well, this still doesn’t point out whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it sounds a lot better. Maybe we can be proud and find God at the same time. Yay!
For me, pride means that I get out of bed, dress up and straighten my back. It means not thinking myself less than others. And the strangest thing about it, is that it only grows stronger. After having been hurt so badly by That Guy, my trust was broken, my self-esteem was dented, but my pride appeared and took over. I have never had a straighter back and a more royal way of walking than in that twilight zone, when I was hurt and didn’t know why. It killed something on the inside, but the hole that was left, got filled up with big fat pride. It even surprised me how strong that one was. You would think that a sad self-esteem level would lead to a general tendency to think you’re not good, right?
That didn’t happen. I was sad, but I wouldn’t want it to show. Maybe this pride boost had a lot to do with my desire for revenge. When That Guy and I would run into each other, he shouldn’t see a sad, broken girl. He should see a strong, proud young woman. Both of these lived in me, but I wanted to show only the strong side. The side that wouldn’t let anyone mess with her. How can you be strong if you’re not proud of what you are and what you do? At least for a part?
During July I worked in a kitchen as a holiday job. I was very happy to have a job, despite the fact that in theory I couldn’t wear makeup and jewelry and I had to wear a shapeless white shirt and such a hygiene cap. Not very sexy. Taking away the ‘dress up, makeup, jewelry’ part feels like taking away a part of my personality. So I had to make up for that by having a good attitude. A straight back, a kind smile, elegant walk (although I had to wear shoes that looked like clogs). It was a good training in maintaining a proud attitude despite the lack of scenery such as earrings.
Pride is not a bad thing. For me it means strength, not letting people hurt you. It means not immediately assuming you are not as good as others. It means revenge, because it’s the thing you will not let them break.
So can we all please stop stating pride is something to run away from?