Never look down on anybody unless …
My little bear asked me a few days ago to write an article about pride (of course I pushed you in front, Timo, I am not going to pride myself with your idea 😉 ).
I did some research inside myself and around me to find some examples otherwise, how can I get into the subject I want to write about?
I never liked to learn empty words and cold phrases. I had a history teacher, Doru Dumitrescu, a great man, a passionate teacher. He would never read the lessons from the book. I never saw him open our history book or read from it. He was sitting at his desk, told us what is the title of today`s lesson after which he would start telling us stories about the subject. It was like watching a movie! He would correlate the story with the dates in such a way that when I got home, I just read the lesson once and remembered everything he told us. It was that easy!
But let`s go back to the pride. What is pride? Well, I could copy the definition from the internet but I chose to do what my teacher was doing, or better, I can play that role 🙂 .
Pride is like a double-edged sword.
The positive side appears in a natural way when I`ve been successful, when I had a great idea, when I helped someone with something they couldn`t have done on their own, when I met a goal, when someone close to me has been victorious in some way. If I immerse in that soul-uplifting feeling right then and there, I can boost my self-esteem, I become positive, I feel happy, it feeds my soul and it stimulates me to do more special things, for my own good and for those around me.
The negative side appears when something inside me feels hurt, misunderstood, unappreciated, ignored, used, by an external source. It can be a real situation but, most of the time it is only our mind`s creation, all because we are not able to communicate the right way with the people around us. At that moment, the amazing pride that gave us wings is now growing horns on us.
The reactive pride, let`s call it, is like an erupted volcano, it changes my entire behavior towards everyone around me and the only thing that I want is to punish the guilty parties. It starts with a boost of self-esteem, as powerful as the one in the positive pride, but these feelings are not based on real facts. In other words, I am proud just because I think I am right and you are wrong. In reality, I am not smarter, more beautiful, more educated, but I am superior to you just because I BELIEVE I am, and it is so easy, I am actually happy to look down on you, from my high throne covered in soft pillows! 🙂
If you try to explain to me that I am mistaken, you better run for your life, otherwise, I will hurt you with every single letter that leaves my mouth! If you try to ignore me, ha! Who do you think you are? If you try to give me advice or teach me something in a gentle, kind manner, you better give up! Didn`t you understand yet? I know everything!
Another form of the negative side of pride, one that I encountered in a few relationships, was the passive one, which is like a latent volcano. My behavior will change towards everyone or just towards the guilty person, which I will totally ignore for as long as I wish. It can be an hour, half a day or even a week. I will not accept any kind of reconciliation; I will start chatting with everyone in my phonebook, I will laugh and tell interesting stories, while you are around, to hear me that I can have fun and live my life without you. You hurt me, now it is your turn, see if you like it? You don`t know how you hurt me? It doesn`t matter, I don`t know either, but I will never admit it!
The negative side doesn`t disappear unless we become aware of the behavior we have while under its spell and we want to transform it into something positive. The difficult thing is that the emotions and power that feeling gives us have the same intensity, so we don`t see anything bad in it.
“Never look down on anybody unless you are helping them up.” Jesse Jackson
I want to thank Zdeněk Macháček for the picture he provided for this article.