Recent events have prompted introspection on pride. Suffice it to say that a friend’s constant habit of putting down others to bolster her sense of self is disparaging, if not downright hurtful. What is pride and why do people defend it so jealously.
I understand that pride acts as a cement to a person’s being in the sense that, despite being just another kind of animal but we’re blessed or burdened by our consciousness (I’m not even getting into what’s consciousness philosophically). Frankly I don’t think anyone will be motivated rationally to pursue something for the greater good of mankind. Pride possibly imparts the greatest momentum for human pursuit. By pride I also mean things like esteem. Like selfishness, a moderate amount would somehow lead to some greater good being served while serving our own interests.
But I saw many instances where excessive pride acts as an obstruction towards maximizing human activity. Firstly people are afraid to question things that they take pride in because it forms the basis of their whole existence and because of that, they become stuck in certain ways, deluding themselves that this is the best way to function when it’s clear to others that change is needed. Even as I type this, it’s an irony in itself. I’ve always regard rationality is our best guide that I constantly reflect on and revise my deepest set of values and attitude to ensure that my philosophical foundation is sound. In my deepest contemplation, I found that human existence is necessarily hollow and that I lost a sense of spirit, that I’m just trudging on to make the best out of an existence that I was compelled to. In a sense, I’ve reached the state of the Nietzsche so-called active nihilism:
“I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism’s] arrival. I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength!”
But then again, this approach might just be self-defeating. Excessive thinking itself might be an obstruction towards maximizing human activity.
Apart from being stubborn to changes, there’s also an unwillingness to accept alternative ideas. I always believe that it’s better to withhold judgment and listen to all available alternatives, weighing out their pros and cons before coming to the most optimum choice. In interaction with others, often the debate seemed to be staking more on who wins the argument rather than the facts itself.
Also, it seemed that the world, or rather majority of the population seems to be happy to accept prideful talk by faith without subjecting it to further scrutiny as to whether it commensurate with true substance or ability. As much as I aim to prove myself through substance, I found myself increasingly disheartened in the journey while watching the superficial esteem those unsubstantiated. Pardon the language abuse.
When one’s pride is deemed to have been trampled on, I find it particularly disturbing at the reflexivity of people turning onto their defense by attacking the others’ pride. But if one were to pause and reflect, it’s nothing more than an intangible feeling. Is it really worth the fight? What do we gain at the end?
And then there’s another kind of defense mechanism where one wears pride like a suit of armor. They are so afraid of others penetrating into that personal wall that they so painstakingly build up that they intentionally or not alienate others. Wait, I don’t know what’s so bad about that. Possibly because you might be missing out on something dear.
As much as I understood the destructive power of the emotivism of pride, I can’t help but to be affected by it. Blogging it out is probably an ascetic exercise to remind myself to not be swayed by my emotions at the moment.
Ah… I really don’t know how much abuse I can take from this friend although I understand the motivation behind it and she was always there for me whenever I need her and honestly, isn’t that what friendship is about? That you accept their weaknesses and being there for each other for better or worse.
My resolution is therefore, that I swallow my pride since it’s a matter of small consequence and give our friendship a second chance. After all, I always tell others ‘truth will always prevail’. But meanwhile, let me nurse my wound before resuming the abuse. And no, I don’t like SM. Haha