Volume 96, Issue 99
Friday, April 4, 2003

Search the Archives:



Examining the pitfalls of pride

Ryan Dixon
Sports Editor

I – like many desperate sports fans – have appealed my team's case to a higher power once or twice before, but for the most part, religion remains a mystery to me.

Once aspect of the Catholic faith specifically had previously baffled me for years – this whole seven deadly sins business. The detriments of things like greed, gluttony and lust are things I can easily identify with. However, it has taken me many years to understand just why it is that pride is listed as something that could be a person's undoing.

Growing up, I just couldn't understand how pride could be viewed as a bad thing. Pride gives you the strength to fight your own battles. Taking pride in your work indicates you've accomplished something. Pride in yourself means you believe in your own abilities and have the confidence it takes to succeed in the world. I still think all these things are true, but what I've come to realize is that, for every positive aspect of pride, there exists untold amounts of negative repercussions that can initially be hard to detect.

Let's get this out right now: yes, I've seen Seven, yes, my impressionable mind is influenced by Hollywood and yes – most of all – I think Brad Pitt's actual acting abilities are highly underrated. However, my intention here is to talk about how pride plays a role in people's everyday lives, not on a grand silver screen scale.

Pride, like all sins, covers a broad spectrum. Much of people's motivation, on the surface, might seem removed from it, but can eventually be traced back to pride.

You want to know why your significant other can't tell you he or she loves you? It has nothing to do with a lack of emotion or an inability to express feelings. It has everything to do with fear, something deeply rooted in pride. What if you don't love them back? How can one's ego withstand such a shot? Putting yourself and your feelings out there takes courage, a much more valid virtue than pride. Nobody wants to be hurt, but no matter what response you get when you lay it on the line, you will eventually come to terms with it and invariably be glad you said it like it was. I can't say the same for bottling up feelings because you're too proud to be vulnerable.

Pride is the catalyst that blows otherwise harmless situations to unnecessary proportions. There are very few misunderstandings in life that can't be cleared up with a little conversation, but who among us wants to be that weak soul who takes the first step towards bringing about a solution? Pride is that immovable roadblock that allows bad feelings to fester and take on a life they should never have been granted.

There is another side to this equation. Of course, we've all been told to swallow our pride at some point in our lives for our own good. It bothers me that this phrase comes with such negative connotations. I think rather than swallowing pride, some enlightened folks realize the pitfalls of pride and avoid falling victim to them. I've had the pleasure of witnessing members of this select group first hand.

Like any place with an extremely talented staff and yearly turnover, The Gazette sees its fair share of competent people who put their hearts and souls into running for positions they do not attain. To return to this place and carry out a job with the same passion displayed before experiencing ultimate disappointment, as these young men and women have, takes perspective, humility and heart.

That's something to be proud of.




Contact The Opinions Department