There isn’t much I am absolutely convinced about. Not because I am a skeptic or cynic, but because I am humble enough to know there’s a lot I don’t know. However, I am pretty sure I have pride pegged.

Pride is just another word for stupid. No, not “ignorant.” Ignorant implies that you just haven’t been exposed to knowledge. Stupid offers no such wriggle room: you’ve been told (and probably more than once), and yet you still stick your tongue to the flag pole on a sub-zero day.

Pride is all about, well, me. It’s as if I go thru this thing called life with a mirror in front of my face. Me, me, me. Yeah very simple (therefore very appealing), but, um, not particularly farsighted (especially if you have short arms). Mirrors make bad windows: you don’t see much besides your nose (maybe that’s just me).

But, why is that “stupid”? No doubt you’ve heard of “pride goeth before the fall”? I don’t think that refers to a football team that spends the pre-season “rebuilding.” Rather, I think it refers to not seeing something that might change your life, like a crevasse or Mac truck.

You might remember the origin of the word “narcissus”? Falling in love with yourself just doesn’t enhance your life, personal relationships or your career. Though you might get a timeless story told about you, or even a very pretty flower named after you.

And, while you are admiring your striking profile, you just might not appreciate other people that can make your life so much more. Or so much less.

Pride also takes away your ability to review what you’ve done. The ability to say “I’m sorry” (whether you were at fault, or not – but just because a relationship is so much more important than your own opinion of your own grandeur). The ability to adjust the path you’re on, and maybe not actually get to wherever it was you were heading to (which is probably a very good thing). The ability to learn something that, shock of shocks, you might not have already known. The difference between a rock and a guided missile. If you’re stuck on yourself, mid-course corrections are impossible.

Unlike the lesser animals, or avocados, we were not born with all of the knowledge that we would need to successfully navigate through life (although there are some who act as though this were an infallible truth). And while self-confidence is very necessary, self-confidence on steroids is counterproductive; you know, two heads are better than one (even if that one head is huge). But, getting along, let alone working together is a team effort, and the pride that a team needs is different than the sum of its individual members. Michael Jordan may have been great (“may have”?), but I don’t think he played all by himself very often (Bill Russell and Walt Chamberlain are my personal faves).

    • karirogersmiller
    • January 2nd, 2014

    Great post Pete

    Team effort….no one can do it alone despite their self confidence (which of course can be an assist of achieving) i;e; “I can do anything…”!

    A Good illustration (sports reference naturally, and thank you for mentioning Wilt) is the philosophy behind Coach Bill Self’s Kansas Jayhawks! Each player has a special talent but when said player does not make it a team effort by utilizing each player’s niche…all of said player’s talent can not win the game alone! In fact his talent is diminished because all one remembers is the final score.


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