Confidently SELF-AWARE or Confidently PROUD?

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” ― Ann Landers

I must warn my readers that I find sarcasm amusing- hence, the appropriateness of this quote. Don’t you find it quite ironic that as isolation and depression has increased in recent times, there’s seemingly a greater desire for pets like dogs. Of course, association is not causation and, like the ‘chicken or egg paradox’ we can not establish which came first. However, I believe we will all agree in the phrase “dog is man’s best friend”. Dogs are generally considered as loyal, forgiving and might I dare add, unconditionally loving. These are values that are generally sought in humans but are apparently as rare as diamond. “Dogs are loyal, patient, fearless, forgiving, and capable of pure love. Virtues that few people get through life without abandoning, at least once.” 
― M.K. Clinton, The Returns.

There is always a catch to unquestioned loyalty. In the words of Karl Kraus, “To be sure, the dog is loyal. But why, on that account, should we take him as an example? He is loyal to man, not to other dogs ” 

Why is this example important? While the subject of discussion is not loyalty, I believe there’s nothing that feeds pride more than blind devotion; a nod and clap to EVERY gesture, action and word from a person. Pride makes anyone feel invincible and incorrigible.

“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”

― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I like this quote so much because it alludes to the fact that with pride, all you know, do or say is already established. Hence, if we were to take someone’s ideas as a foundation for a building, that’s literally all that the person will have. Except, without a detailed critique, this foundation might be wobbly, unstable for the pillars that will fall in due time. Proverbs 11: 2 puts it nicely;

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

-Proverbs 11:2, Bible

Try to cast your mind back to someone you helped in the past. How did you feel when the person made an error? Also, remember that person who didn’t listen to you? the ‘i told you so feeling’ is one that you have to intentionally work on and as you grow in love, it becomes easier to be forgiving. However, there’s something attractive about humility. You always want that humble person to succeed.

With all that being said, I believe that it is also important to mention that no matter what council you surround yourself with, without introspection, self-assessment, and a decision to grow from prior mistakes, all the advise would be void.

“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Introspection is not passive. It is an active skill that needs to be intentionally developed. Life gives us enough topics to delve into. We walk through our daily lives seeing other humans more than the image seen in the mirror of ourselves. Why would introspection be expected to be any different? Do we plan to spend that alone-time like we do with our friends and family?

Spending time with yourself could mean involvement with creativity, entertainment, or simply asking yourself; Kukua, how are you doing today? How can I help you? What can I improve on?

I have two more fun quotes

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”

― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“Pride is a wound, and vanity is the scab on it. One’s life picks at the scab to open the wound again and again. In men, it seldom heals and often grows septic.”

― Michael Ayrton, The Maze Maker

3 thoughts on “Confidently SELF-AWARE or Confidently PROUD?

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