It’s hard to be truly proud

It’s hard to be truly proud
18 Nov 2018

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less

C. S. Lewis - Writer

Pride is a conscious experience we have within our mind. It has two directly contrasted and mutually incompatible meanings. The positive emotional association to the word is the modest estimate and content sense of attachment toward one’s own choices or actions.

The positive association of pride is a result of social recognition, personal self-reflection and fulfilled feeling of being accepted in society. It involves pleasure that makes one very happy and a feeling of accomplishment. Helping others could be associated with pride as a positive social behaviour. The positive association of pride can, therefore, boost our performance, enhance the quality and flexibility of the efforts we put in, creativity, productivity, and give us a selfless concern for the well-being of others. So far, so good.

The commonly known negative emotional association to the word pride is an unwise and unreasonable corrupt sense of one’s personal values, status or accomplishments. The negative association is a result of overconfidence in one’s own abilities. Sometimes an exaggerated form of self-esteem is actually a false representation to cover one’s lack of self-esteem.


Without going into religious debates when you look at an idol it merely means a human-made object that is worshipped for the deity it represents. Self-idolatry represents the extravagant admiration for oneself. It shows one’s respect, love and loyalty to oneself more than to any other either always or in certain circumstances. Pride lacks control in spending money or using resources for oneself over others. Symptoms of self-idolatry can be associated with an immoral behaviour which is pride.

Sadistic contempt

Ever felt worthless? Ever had a circumstance where you were beneath consideration for the situation? These naturally happen to almost everyone. How you’d react to this feeling often tends to prove the existence of the vice pride. Most often a person associated with the negative emotions of pride experiencing this feeling finds pleasure from causing pain, suffering or humiliation to others.


Self-confidence is a good thing. However, a person who is self-idolatry or shows signs of sadistic contempt has an excessive belief in their own abilities. This results in boasting. Boasting in vain.

The feeling of pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one’s own achievements, qualities or possessions is a very normal and acceptable human behaviour. Self-idolatry, sadistic contempt and vanity, on the other hand, make one immoral. Unless we understand and defend ourselves from these immoral behaviours, we are sure to end up having pride as a vice, not as a virtue.

The result? One start to show or allow to have the willingness to act dishonestly in return for the pleasure for something they have not achieved. This is a false satisfaction.

The right thing to do is to be content with what you have. That makes you humble. This is the pride we should live with. Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, concluded that “pride, then, seems to be a sort of crown of the virtues; for it makes them more powerful, and it is not found without them. Therefore it is hard to be truly proud; for it is impossible without nobility and goodness of character.”


Abilash Praveen

I have over a decade of experience in technology and business. It is my passion for the development of the rural and the underprivileged in the society that has driven me towards contributing the wealth of my professional and personal experiences for the welfare of the society.