The more pride we have, the more other people’s pride irritates us. – C.S. Lewis
What does that mean?
I like this quote, because it is so true. As misery loves company, pride seems to despise it. And we have seen it around us, and even within us.
Yes, someone over there is prideful. How does that impact us? If we have no excess or improper pride, why would we care what their problem is? We are doing just fine over here.
And there have been times in your life when you just laugh or shake your head at a prideful person. In that situation, you had no improper pride, so it didn’t really irritate you, did it?
That is the point of the quote. It is a warning that if we find ourselves irritated with the pride of another, it is most likely because of the pride we have within ourselves, and not the good kind either.
Why is pride both dangerous and important?
Pride. It is a word implying a great affection and loyalty, like a pride in your country, your school, or your family. It is also a word implying a twisted and vain kind of affection, like pride in something you don’t really do well, or in the vain seeking of recognition or honor.
That is why I tried to differentiate between an improper or less than good kind of pride, and the good kind. The difference is very clear when we only have the good kind in us. But it becomes very fuzzy when we begin to travel down the path to the less proper types of pride.
The less proper kind of pride is what comes before the fall. It is the kind of pride which blinds us to the facts, and encourages us to do things we really can’t do, or do well. And when we are irritated by the pride of another, that might just be a clue to look at ourselves.
Which brings us to the good kind of pride. While it, too, can be taken to absurd and improper lengths, it is a useful part of society. How would the life of a child differ if parents had pride in them, compared to those whose parents had no pride in them? I’ve seen both, and I know which I prefer.
Where can I apply this in my life?
That would depend on what parts of your life are you irritated when some prideful jerk starts mouthing off. The quote implies that those places where irritation occurs are the topics about which your pride is not of the proper kind or the proper amount. Does that make sense to you?
Many years ago, at an in-processing meeting for the newly hired workers, they asked if anyone had any additional questions. One of the other people asked where the best school district in town was. OK, I could see that. Then a classic ‘management type’ person asked what the most prestigious neighborhood was.
Everyone in the room was trying not to laugh. His pride was that large and that obvious. And none of the rest of us had that kind of pride in that aspect of our lives, so we weren’t irritated. Fortunately, I didn’t end up having to work for him, and never saw him again. Wouldn’t that have been awkward?
Another classic place for pride and irritation to show up is in sports rivalries. I actually get a bit annoyed when other people start talking about their team, and being boastful about an upcomming matchup with one of my favorites. Fortunately, pride in our sports teams isn’t all that bad, right? 8)
The quote gives us a clue about how to find the areas where we are prideful in the improper manner. If someone is being prideful, and you get irritated or annoyed, that is probably a clue, right? Take a moment and think of the times when the bragging or boasting of another has irritated you.
Consider if those might not be parts of your life where you might have a little too much of the improper pride. If the boasting happens at a party, is it the party, or the subject of the boast which irritates you? Try to be as specific as you can. You might even want to grab some paper and take a few notes.
What I try to look for is patterns. If several different things annoy you, you have to work on them one at a time. If there are several similar things which annoy you, you can get a lot more out of your effort if you start with those, right? Do you detect any patterns?
Once you have an idea as to where you might have a bit much pride, the question becomes how does one find humility? I start by realizing that even if I am one in a million, there are nearly seven thousand people better at it than I am. That’ll put you in your place pretty quickly, right?
What other ways can you find to help put your pride back in its place? It doesn’t have to be brutal, but it does need to be real. If you have one, feel free to leave it in the comments section, so that we can all gain some benefit. Thanks!
From: Twitter, @CSLewisDaily
confirmed at : http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/1658979-the-more-pride-we-have-the-more-other-people-s-pride-irritates-us
Photo by Chris Potter of www.stockmonkeys.com
For some odd reason, my ‘related articles’ app is still face down in the mud. I hope to have something that works by early next week…
I keep saying that, but I hope to get to it sometime really soon now. Really.