Sometimes I worry that my disinterest in the rules of society make me look ignorant of the rules entirely. I exist in this paradoxical state where I just don’t care about superficially impressing others but then I worry someone will see this as ignorant or disrespectful. I don’t want to care about my hair and makeup or my clothes, but because society does I feel pressured to at least make an effort. I don’t want to care if I look provocative or unprofessional but since we continue to insist on being a visually driven animal, then it behooves pride that I strive to fit the image that I want people to see of me.
Pride is going to be what kills me. My last words will most certainly be “It’s the principle of the thing.” I will stubbornly hold out because pride says not to give in. Pride says I don’t need help, that I’ll get it on my own eventually. My steam-engine drive is stoked with pride but throw on too many coals and the whole thing is likely to blow. Pride will feed and pride will starve. Pride demands the best and laments anything less.
Say what you will about pride, however, it’s what’s kept me alive today. Too proud to quit when I want to give up, too proud to settle for less than best. In my darkest hours, it’s been my pride that’s kept me from giving into the voices that say “you can’t”. Pride drives my work ethic, keeps me determined to be the best, no matter how menial the task. The pride I feel over my health keeps maintenance a priority.
Do the western philosophies not recognize the balance and order of the east? Do we not understand that equivalent exchange is in fact a natural law? To appreciate rest, one must work. To experience relief, pain must be applied first. All things rise and swell then release and collapse. Pride in one’s work, one’s accomplishments is not sin because it is not hubristic in nature. Be proud of what you’ve done, not boastful. Be confident, not foolish. The pride that dooms our souls is the kind that pulls us from our path, that tempts us to take more than we give, to claim more than we own. But take pride in a job well done, a good deed enacted.
I hear by declare that in the one woman nation of me, it is okay to feel proud. Feel good about the good that you do for goodness sake. You are no-where near the limits of “overly confident” and this self sabotaging doubt will not clear your soul. This dismissive modesty is like trying to clean a window with a dirty rag, how will anyone see the beauty on the other side if you keep smearing grime on the glass? Take credit where it is given, no one can take away what you know in your heart what you’ve accomplished.