TW Viewpoint | The Flip Side of Pride

August 19, 2022 | Bruno Duval

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We all adhere to a certain set of values and have opinions about a wide variety of subjects. But do we consider the way in which we express them? It has become more and more popular to boast about the ideas we fight for and to display them in various ways. Are we not putting ourselves on the spotlight with such celebrations?

One byproduct of the overwhelming increase in use of social media is that it has become the frontier of expansion for societal agendas, politics and all sorts of self-promotion, self-affirmation and self-aggrandizing. It seems everyone has a strong opinion on nearly every topic, and a platform to express it. It is striking to realize how normal is has become for some individuals to push their views and ideas through dangerous, passionate anger. It is now almost impossible to have healthy debates about certain topics. Such contentious ways of thinking and conducting ourselves are often key indicators of pride, as we have explained in a previous Viewpoint: "Do you parade your pride?"

Exchanging a point of view and expecting that everyone agrees with you on every point defies the basic principles that should be in place in a sound society. The more pride becomes important in the political realm, the closer the regime is to totalitarianism. And this is true on both sides of the aisle. Wanting to be right all the time without even considering that the other person may know better than us comes at a cost. The cost that you might be wrong on some minor point, or worse yet, that your entire conclusion on a matter was faulty. In addition to being factually wrong, we can also be wrong in the way we express our opinions when we revert to riots, protest, anger, strikes and so on. That is to say, that the moral stance you supported ends up causing the decline of the society you are part of simply because of the methods used to promote your stance. This is a parameter one should consider before joining or defending any type of protests, movements or political causes.

It is unavoidable that if we seek to be on the frontpage we will attract critics. And that is the flip side of pride. Being willingly overexposed will lead to more opinions, views and judgment regarding what we are displaying. It is part of human nature.

So, if pride can be found in the way we choose to express our cause, we have to expect and be willing to handle the opinions that will inevitably come from differing camps. Isn't it interesting that some who belong to a certain pride movement, preach and advocate for tolerance, love and self-expression but, through political means, have put in place policies to silence opposing views. That is also the flip side of pride, it only seeks its own interest, and contradicts the supposed values that it pretends to stand for.

It is also inevitable that if we're defending our cause by giving center stage to violent conduct or nontraditional behaviors, that some form of reaction is expected from people who do not view such behavior as appropriate.

Henry Ford once said: "A man given to pride is usually proud of the wrong thing". His saying should certainly get more attention nowadays.

The reality is that: If pride causes you to contradict the genuine and exquisite means by which you came to existence and if it prevents you from giving your best to aid in the wonderful cycle of life in an optimal way, then I am afraid pride is of no help to society overall, because it only serves itself.

The sad but yet clear lessons that history teaches us is that pride never triumphs in the long run. Pride always leads to conflict, chaos, wars and destruction. It uses the same old tricks to ensnare us: "It feels good; I don't need change; No one can tell me what to do; I know I am right; I will crush whoever gets in my way; I had no choice". And then when it's too late, pride leaves us with deep regrets. And this too is the flip side of pride.

The opposite of the way of pride is a better way, called love, or outgoing concern for others. Genuine love. Not the spurious love sold by all those who use pride as a means of expression. The love that I am talking about is defined as such: "love does not boast, it is not proud ... it is not self-seeking ... it is not easily angered ... Love never fails". The characteristic of this type of love is humility and it leads to peace, and is deeply considerate of the needs of the other person.

Ultimately, the state in which we leave society when our time comes will tell the tale of whether or not we were on the right side of history, whether we were on the side of love or on the side of pride. But judging by the recent, ongoing and increasing crises that we're facing especially in the western nations, it would appear that the near future does not bode well, because too few are those who consider the flip side of pride.

Watch The Flip Side of Pride on YouTube at Tomorrow's World Viewpoint