To have no pride

Pride. The word has been around for centuries and becomes part of our vocabulary from an early age. Yet it often carries a negative meaning. A quick search in a dictionary tells us: "Pride. A high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc."

However, there is a second, altogether more positive way to use the word 'pride', and that is to express a feeling of satisfaction for something we have done to the best of our ability. In English, we place the word 'take' before it to get this new meaning: to 'take pride'. It sounds good, doesn't it? And yet these days it's so rarely used in this way.

What I see around me is how people do what they have to do as fast as they can, just to get rid of the task as quickly as possible. I see it in students, in co-workers, in the streets; and I see a lot of pressure against doing things slowly, even if better. If we look to nature, however, nothing is done that way. Trees take a whole season to bloom, slowly, little by little, day after day until they’re finished. Cubs take a long time to become fully-grown lions, as do wolf cubs, kittens and puppies. So why do we try to go against our own nature and rush all the time? There is no explanation other than our self-imposed need to be as ‘productive’ as possible.

Ironically, the truth is that we never do things our best when we rush.

Today I wanted to write a bit about the word 'pride'. I took my time, I relaxed, I focused on what I wanted to say. You are reading the result: a short article without mistakes that delivers its idea in a way everybody can understand. I have written something useful and as a result I feel good.

I want to invite you to do the same: to take pride... to do your best and nothing less. You may find it feels slightly strange for a moment, but it will only be for a moment. Think of it as a temptation to rush again and ignore it. Go ahead until you are done.

Once you are finished, take a look back and see what you have achieved. Enjoy it, but also examine it. Doing your best and taking pride is not an excuse to be mediocre. If you feel it can be improved, go ahead and improve it. If you feel you did it wrong, redo it (but never judge yourself for doing it wrong the first time, we can all make mistakes). Most importantly, we must never —and I mean never— allow ourselves to do anything less than our very best.

That, for me, is to have no pride.

Arts and expression + Opinion