“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
Pride can split two people from loving each other. Pride can unravel deep rooted lies about someone for personal advantage. When I think of pride I think of myself one year ago. I think of a girl who cared so much about people’s opinions of her she never believed her own opinions mattered. A girl who’s pride blocked her from acknowledging that love is the answer to unfreezing the coldest of hearts. I also think of the people who have shown me cruel acts of hatred, jealousy, and bitterness but in the last moments never showed enough compassion to at least say the words ‘sorry.’ I recall having to say those words for them to myself, forgiving myself, and them in the process so I could move on in this life.
Prideful people are hard to be around. Yet ironically, I have experienced my closest relationships and connections with prideful people. They are the one type of people I don’t despise, but rather care for the most and it is there that my kindness can be misused by others. I have noticed this, and I thought long about how to block myself out of feeling used or mistreated by people with pride. To do that understanding the definition of pride has helped me immensely. Pride is a double sword in many cases. It can be virtuous as well. You can have pride in your country, pride in your well-accomplished work, pride in the person you are becoming, pride in your well-earned grades. You can have pride, but there is a limit we often cross where it is used against others.
That limit is when pride is used to hurt others. Pride can be defined as many things, it can be lying to make yourself look better than someone else, pride is expressing hatred to make someone feel inferior to you, pride is doing evil for lustful reasons, pride is choosing to not admit your fault over something or someone who loves you very much. Why do we choose to hail ourselves as an imaginary idol instead of choosing real pure love towards someone else? That is the question I ask myself often.
It is simply the power someone likes to feel over someone else. The power to be superior, the power to belittle, the power to rob the good from the bad. But I have learned it is a power that is not worth the loss of someone, the loss of an opportunity you could have, the loss of receiving help that could change you into the better version of yourself you could have been years ago. When power is harnessed, it can do two things. It can create, or it can destroy. So then, it isn’t my overbearing kindness that is at fault here for dealing with people who have pride. I’ve had it myself, we have all used the bad definition of pride at one point in time. It isn’t something I am doing wrong, it isn’t my physical appearance, or how intellectual I am. Is it just power? And why do people feel the need to feel power over someone if we are all the same in a sense?
Though people with pride have destroyed parts of my life I may never get back, pride has also taught me how to love and love and love again and again. It has turned me into this person who writes about emotions, who cares about dealing with painful feelings, who opens up genuinely to others and not caring about other people’s opinions about me. It is hard to do this. Every day, I choose to continue advocating love, in a place where pride reigns over everyone and that is something people are not used to. I am seeing how Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have desensitized some people’s way of loving, way of caring, and pride rides the shots with most decisions like calling someone we don’t speak to, or admitting we need to talk about repressed feelings. There is no way out except worrying about ourselves and how WE can change us, not others.
Pride is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason, it is here to split not to unite. It is venom in the hearts of many who use it against others, but we should learn to let go of it as soon as possible. Choose humility, because there is wisdom is true humility, and where there is this there is more space for peaceful rekindle with others, love for each other to grow bigger, and a promise to live a less stressful life in the long run.