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It is relatively easy to talk about someone famous or tell a story but its definitely hard to say the reasons of why we feel this and that. In other words, its hard to write an analysis for our hearts and deep feelingsNow, we will look towards pride and try to simplify our feelings into words, so lets start by stating some views about pride.
- There's a misunderstanding in the word pride. Theres a great difference between pride, boasting, arrogance and a lot more...For that reason, I have classified pride into different states as follows:
Positive Personal Pride: Why do we need it?
- Pride is important for self-confidence because you have to believe in yourself and trust yourself and your abilities in order to be self-confident or in order to believe that you are doing the right thing in life.
- If someone is sure and proud of himself, hell insist on going on armed with courage and capability. While if he feels he is nothing and has no faith in himself, then he will simply give up because he will feel that whatever hell do will fail, which is somehow what we call Depress. Therefore, optimism can result from positive pride, which gives the person faith and a sense of how much his life is beautiful.
- Pride isn't a wrong thing to feel as it allows the person to know he is a valuable creature. A proud person is a confident person that has the will to face hard things in order to accomplish his goals and achievementsHe is sure of himself and his self-worth and knows where his skills and talents lie. He is also well-aware of his flaws and things he cant do and that point makes him a proud person not an arrogant person, because he not only knows his borders and limitations, but he confesses of having them as well. In other words, a proud person believes in himself and the way he is and doesnt wish to have things that he doesnt have because simply, he likes himself that way and thinks that if he were another person, he wouldnt be happy and that is his reason of pride. All this is important for everyone, which therefore makes pride fair, important and needed.
- Also, this kind of pride satisfies inner feelings; the proud person doesnt need anyone to tell him he is good, he knows himself well but he keeps his pride to himself and doesnt show it because he doesnt want any rewards for it.
- It is important to be a proud person because otherwise, one might be worthless. Dignity, personal opinions, attitudes and stands are all parts of this kind of pride, which represents who one really is.
How Positive Personal Pride can be fair?
We are proud because we can make other people we love (like our parents and teachers) proud of us by bringing them glory. Their pride can be a real reason for our pride, that we have fulfilled their wishes. We can be proud of our abilities, believing that we are Gods messengers to do what we are able to do and that theres a certain reason behind every deed and ability.
We can do this because its useful and deep inside us, this pride shouldnt affect us or change our realities.
Effect of causes on our understanding of Prides concept:
- Pride itself is not something bad or harmfulwhat make us think that its not good to be proud are the causes behind being proud and the reasons of why we show our pride and how we show it.
- The causes of our pride, whatever they are, are things that God has blessed us with, either to test our abilities as individuals to deal with those gifts, or for other reasons where those gifts can be good and useful to us and others as well.
- Being gifted is neither always good nor bad; it can be, like everything else in life, a double-edged weaponand it depends on us after all.
Negative Personal Pride contains two points:
I-Boasting and bragging:
- Some causes of pride may not be in the person himself. Many times, its in others(it makes matters worse to boast of something that is not yours)
1-Money and property: The idea of boasting of money is due to another idea, which is that money can do everything, so we boast of money to say that we are powerful and that we can do everything. Infact, people having such feelings should look positively to their gift of having money and try to make use of it and invest it in something good to help others.
2-Good looks: Because we shouldnt judge people by appearances, then good looks form a minor thing in ones personality that we shouldnt boast of.
3-Success: Actually, this is not a permanent cause of boasting because if a successful person is boasting of his success then his success wont last for long and his name wont be engraved in lifes book of historywe have never seen any great men or women who were boasting of their achievements and thats what made them great.
On the other hand, if a person is keeping up his success then he can never be boasting and his pride is fair then.
4-Social position: Jobs can be part of boasting -not necessarily a persons job, it can be his relatives or parents. We sometimes hear someone saying Dont you know I am --- s son. bla bla bla..!! Keeping in mind that few people in life get to keep working in one constant career as long as they live, many people get to move between more than one job and even more than a branch in one job
5-High level of education and knowledge: Sometimes we boast of being graduates of this school or that university and that we keep in our minds a great deal of knowledge and education. But the truth is, we havent reached the highest level of education inspite of all that, because the highest level of education is toleranceand to accept what is around us from different attitudes and point of views.
Why do we boast and brag?
When we feel minor in society this can make us boastlack of self-confidence can be another strong reason too. Thats why when someone boasts and brags, he tries to show everyone that he can do things others cant do and even do them better than anyone else. Also, it gives the boaster himself a luscious feeling of being capable of doing something, especially when he had a lack of doing that thing and he finally tastes it. He might feel that this can make people respect, appreciate and love him.
II- False Inner Pride (Arrogance):
This pride is somehow related to boasting, but in a different wayIt can be summarized by an example of someone who doesnt accept any advice from anyone because simply, he thinks that he is complete, that he knows whats right and whats wrong so he neednt listen to those who bother him by their advice or even ordinary talk. This pride occurs in that person whether he is poor or rich which means that this pride is in his personality and neednt have materialistic causes.
Problems involved with Negative Personal Pride:
This can include lying, pretending, untruthfulness, greed and a lot moreBecause when we exaggerate in our negative pride, we sometimes have to lie to prove our points and that we are right. We pretend to be something or have a special quality that we dont have in order to gain respect or whatsoever. Besides, the person who is always showing the opposites of his feelings and real self feels lonely during the times when he sits by himself and thinks of the world around him. He is not feeling like himself and its not him because he deals with people with the faked person inside him, but however, he thinks he has to keep showing others that he is a perfect person.
A special case of Negative Pride (Lack of satisfaction):
Sometimes this case occurs, especially lately in the modern world where principles have become nothing but words of nonsense. Those who have nothing pretend to have and know everything, and when they come across someone who is really cultured, they make fun of him and mock at him. They do wish to be like him and realize that fact deep inside of them but never show it. This is because they are not satisfied by what they are and feel useless in the society. However, the thing is, we should show respect to everyone in order to be respected by others.
Results of Negative Personal Pride:
It makes the person feel he doesnt need anything from anyone, which wouldnt get him any.
Faked characteristics will someday be revealed to all people and everyone will know the truth so the proud person will lose peoples heart and lose himself too as people would go away from him. He would be always disguised in the completion mask, therefore, he wouldnt know how to love and be loved truly as his real personality is not shown to people, though this personality can be really good if its cleared from negative feelings of pride. Also, another reason for not being able to love truly is because in love theres completion of ones soul, so the person who feels complete would never believe in the completion of love and therefore, wont need it. But someday, the proud who walk the wire are set to fall and that fall can be really destructive.
In true love theres no pride:
Now, we can say that this quote is true because when one loves truly, he can do anything to please his beloved ones so he would put himself into any circumstance to acquire that fact. Also, he forgets himself for the sake of his beloved ones. And though negatively proud people may think theyre in love, but that love would never be true.
In Negative Pride theres no sacrifice:
This point is related to the last one because theres sacrifice in true love and theres no pride in true love so theres no sacrifice in Negative Pride. A negatively proud person would never feel that theres something or someone in life that deserves his superior and high sacrifice, as that sacrifice thing is too much for him. This is because that kind of person is selfish; he would never give, as he would always like to have everything as his own only.
Judging Pride: Is it Positive or Negative?
Sometimes not all the talking about achievement or success in things is bragging because we need to talk to people about our lives in a modest, simple sense so we can show them who we really are and what we can do. In other words, it helps showing the personality and to what extent we are successful; and like Socrates belief Speak so I can see you. For instance, in a job interview, it is important to talk about ones experiences and honours and all that. But on the other hand, bragging appears in the way one talks if he is a negatively proud person or if he is just talking about something that happened to him or something that he has achieved. Theres a great difference between narrating things and showing off with things. When someone is bragging, he tries to show that he is better than the one in front of him who feels most of the times beaten and like hes nothing. Also the tone of the bragging person would be like teasing and making fun of things giving them less value than their actual one.
- I once listened to a doctor in a rare specialization of happiness related to human beings, or something of the sort. He was talking about the titles we put before our names and refused anyone to call him Dr.. He said that we should feel complete because of what we are as human beings because if these titles are necessary to complete our names or us then, we are incomplete from within.
- Also, I would like to add an exampleif someone is studying for PhD, this person should do it for the sake of learning and not to earn peoples respect, because PhD is given according to the amount of knowledge gained. Some people may have the same amount of knowledge and not go through PhD. To sum up, we go through such tests in our lives not only to learn but also to prove ourselves, satisfy the ego and that isnt wrong, but if we do that because we need something to complete us, then, we should make up our minds once more. And always remember that you neednt be something big and important in this world to earn peoples respect.
- As we can see, nothing stays; all are in vane. All the related causes of pride, which are infinite, are not everlasting in life, as nothing else isso its useless to boast of things that are temporary and going to fade away soon. And whats the good thing that we should do with our lives before time passes us by unconsciously? This proves that the only thing that will result from Negative Pride is being torn apart and destroyed.
- Also, these causes of boasting whatever they are, are things that God has blessed us with, either to test us and our abilities to deal with those gifts, or for other reasons where those gifts can be good and useful to others. However, all these causes and gifts in our life gather for a better and a more comfortable life for everyoneno one would want to be poorwe live in a well-tied jungle-like circle where we think we need to have all this in order to gain others respect and appreciation, which is obviously wrong.
- If the greatest men and women in history had been proud of what they did by bragging about it, they wouldnt have reached what they have and we wouldnt have called them great
- Nobodys perfect, everyone has talents and abilities different from the other, as well as downfalls. Always keep in mind that what you can do, others cant and vice versa, which is how the world system works.
Avoiding Negative Personal Pride:
Bragging and arrogance are parts of human beings nature. They dont show in some people because theyve kept them for themselves and changed the results for good. So how can this be done? We need to:
- Count our blessings and thank God for them. If we do this, well feel satisfied with what we have, then we wont need to pretend we have other things that we dont have, because well feel that these pretended things and faked characteristics are irrelevant to us. We got what we want, so why do we ask for more!
- Try to make ourselves better people always and keep in mind that one learns and improves everyday, because, looking forward for being better is part of personality development, so if we believe that we always need to develop and improve our personalities, then we would never show off because wed feel we are not that perfect. This is different from being complete, we need to feel we are complete as who we are, but not perfect. Though trying to be perfect or at least semi-perfect is part of perfection itself.
- Believe in the saying You dont know what youve got till its gone. This way, we will feel satisfied and afraid to lose what we have but try to add to it.
Positive General Pride:
Its the kind of pride that is fair whenever felt. We have the right to feel proud of anything related to our country when this thing is part of the worlds challenge now and done by us (our generation) and everyone is benefited from it. These are the conditions for general pride to be positive, fair and useful.
Negative General Pride:
Of course we are all proud to be Egyptians because our country has such a great history. This is ok but is it enough?! We often say: the Ancient Egyptians did this and thatso what about the modern Egyptians? What about us?
Here in this kind of pride, we retreat to the past, dream of the past glory that we dont have now, so we feel proud of it though now, we should feel ashamed of our weakness and that we are not as great as our ancestors.
What makes this General Pride Negative? :
Its of course fair to feel proud of our past achievements but in a limited way because exaggerating in this pride makes us unable to look to the future and its challenges. In other words, its good to feel proud but on one condition that we add to this pride and complete it, because the ancient times challenges were different from our challenges: they didnt have the kind of technology we have now and on the other hand, we dont need to race the world in building palaces and temples like them. Also, its not about our characteristics as Egyptians (like intelligence or generousity), its about our achievements in the challenges and codes.
So we need to put the past aside for a while, look forward, try to learn from other countries experiences and try to use the great resources and abilities we have. Also, the worldview and opinion about us change because of negative pride, which gives opposite results. When we try to show the world we are great, we talk about the past achievements not the modern ones so as a result, everyone in this world thinks we have nothing but these deserts, temples and camels in Egypt and instead of knowing we are great, they think that we are only shepherds.
Another reason that prevents us from being extra proud of the past achievements is that we dont know how these things were done or even if we know, we dont know how to imitate them. We dont know how they preserved dead bodies; we dont know how to build a pyramid without cement (though we know the way). So these things are too great to be proud of when we the Ancient Egyptians descendants- dont know how to do them again.
Finally: When do we have the right to feel proud?
When we have achieved more than a thing and when we are in continuous success and progress, whether this progress is in ones personality or country, because success is not hard to reach as much as its hard to keep. So those who keep up their success without bragging and arrogance but with modesty, have all the right to feel proud. And in this case we can benefit from this pride, because it will push us forward and the goals that weve achieved will become a motive for us to go on.