The full King James Version of the title is “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
Is pride always a bad thing?
Pride based on the assumption that you are better than everyone else is certainly not a good thing. This was the pride of kings and nobility who thought they were better than the “rabble” or even the lesser “nobility”. They lived lavishly, depending on the taxes and labor of those “beneath” them. Some of these “haughty spirits” had a great fall.
Do we have a new “nobility” who wouldn’t have their wealth without the labor of many others? Does this “nobility” think they earned every dollar personally, even if those who did the actual work for them lived in dire straits or worked at dangerous jobs without proper safety measures? Their pride does cause destruction; is a fall coming for them?
Pride is a good thing when it is to bolster one’s self-esteem. Think “gay pride” and “black pride”. If this pride makes people think better of themselves, despite the disdain of others, then it is definitely a good thing.
Pride is a good thing when one has created something unique or solved a difficult problem.
These kinds of pride could come under the advice “Don’t hide your light under a bushel”. Of course, one should balance between waving the light in the face of others and getting rewarded with money or fame for one’s effort.
Southern Pride has been much in the news lately. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? But is it a pride based on “we’re right and everyone else is wrong” or is it based on some real accomplishments? If it is still fighting the Civil War, it is not a good thing. If it is, then those who hold this attitude should consider the warning of George Washington in his “Farewell Address”. He warned of the dangers of south against north or east against west.
Have you heard much talk of Northern Pride or Eastern Pride or Western Pride?
National pride is something many feel, but is it really justified? I am an American but I feel neither proud nor ashamed to be an American; I just am an American. This is my country with all of its greatness and all of its faults.
I feel no pride because many Americans fought and died to help defeat Hitler. I was only seven years old at the time. About the only thing I did for the war effort was to fill my war stamp book.
I feel no shame because the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing thousands of women and children who had nothing to do with Imperial policy. Again I was only seven at the time. Interestingly, there are some who are proud of this attack, some of whom are also anti-abortion. How many instant abortions were there at Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
I feel no pride because I am not a hyphenated American.
My name may be Irish, but I don’t consider myself an Irish-American. In fact, when I visited Ireland, I was called a Yank. The earliest ancestor I can find with the name Magree was in the 1830 census. I know he is an ancestor because his son married in England and gave his father’s first name on his marriage document. For all I know, Vincent Magree could have immigrated from Italy as Vincenzo Magri! The 1830 census did not provide the detail that later censuses did.
Most of my traceable ancestors were from England or Germany, and possibly Poland. But I am not English-American or German-American or Polish-American. I am just American and happy to be so regardless of the achievements or the faults of many other Americans.
Some time ago I wrote a Reader Weekly column entitled “I live in the best house in the world”. I poked fun at myself because I lived in “the best house in the world.” I kept stepping up from best city, best state, and best country. At each step I pointed out that others felt the same about their cities, states, or countries.
Another aspect of pride is “school spirit”. I never did like the term. I went to the schools that I did because they had to let me in or I chose them for my own convenience. Sure, I participated in a couple of varsity sports and I cheered on my friends in the sports they chose. I also donate annually to the two colleges that I went to. Others paid a large portion of my tuition then, and so I support those who study there now. The pile of literature that I get from both includes what the sports teams are doing. I could care less. I do care that the students are learning important and useful stuff.
I find it amazing or amusing that so many get wrapped up in the doings of sports teams, both scholastic and professional. If the locals win, they are overjoyed; if the locals lose, they are dejected or even derisive of coaches or players.
My attitude is “who are the Bulldogs”? Yeah! Yeah! I know, but I have no idea what their schedule is. I just wish the band would play a bit quieter so that I didn’t hear it at my house three-quarters of a mile away.
Finally, when someone asks me about the Vikings, I reply, “Vikings!! Hide the gold! Run for the hills!”
OK! I have no shame! I am done rambling. You can use this page to wrap fish.
Also appears in the Reader Weekly of Duluth, 2015-10-08 at http://duluthreader.com/articles/2015/10/07/6053_pride_goeth_before_the_fall.