TW Viewpoint | Do You Parade Your Pride?

March 1, 2017 | Jonathan Riley

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Would you consider yourself a proud person? Do you take pride in your achievements or are you proud for other reasons? Do you parade your pride?

I have heard people say that humility is a virtue and that pride is a weakness but is it not possible to be both simultaneously? Pride can stem from the effort you exert in order to achieve or accomplish something of worth. It is seen as a good attribute to take pride in your work and in any endeavour, be it finishing Moby Dick or running a marathon. Is it wrong to feel proud when you complete a goal or achieve success?

If we examine the definition of pride you can have two very different meanings to the word.

1. A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

Such as "the team was bursting with pride after recording a sensational victory".

2. The quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one's importance, also known as "the sin of pride".

The definition of pride since the latter half of the twentieth century is now more strongly associated with a movement, a group of people who are proud of themselves simply for being different. They take their pride one step further and form a parade, to show off their uniqueness.

Without the word pride being closely associated with humility those who are proud and boastful are normally considered distasteful. You may have heard the phrase "Pride comes before the fall". Well this is taken from the ancient proverb which reads "Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall."(Prov. 16:18) Haughtiness is literally derived from the Latin word for height. It describes an arrogance, a conceited nature, someone whose vanity leads to seeing themselves as superior to others. So by combining the words pride and haughty vs pride and humility you have two polar definitions of character.

Let's play a word association game if you permit. Here we have the words satisfaction, fulfillment, conceit, dignity, self-respect, arrogance, vanity, self-love, modesty and egotism. These are all synonyms of the word 'pride'. Now let's first associate which of these words are more closely related to what you could refer to as 'Humble Pride'. Whatever is left over could therefore be more closely associated with 'Haughty Pride'.

It is interesting to note the word often used in context with pride today, which is the word 'Parade'. A parade is literally a showing, a display or spectacle exhibiting something. Parades often occur when celebrating a special day or event. If you hold a parade to celebrate your pride it becomes difficult to associate your pride with humility. A humble person is not a show-off and so the quiet pride one can take in their hard work and diligence is quite the opposite from the raucous and obscene parades which celebrate our differences.

It is a curious notion to observe that whilst we are being told by the media and our governments to accept and even celebrate our differences, that few today stop to consider the obvious flaw in celebrating negative character traits, namely that of having haughty pride.

I am Jonathan Riley for Tomorrow's World Viewpoint.

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