This idea might attack your basic attitude towards life, but just give it a read with an open mind. Even if you disagree, it’s perfectly fine.
‘Pride’ is something that is instilled in children as it’s considered virtuous – pride for family, surnames, religion, caste, state, gender etc. Whenever one has to address a community, be it based on country, state, religion, gender, cast, creed, colour, race, the technique is to stir ‘pride’ for their community as it’s the easiest way to motivate and charge emotions of people. Most popular leaders across the globe have done that.
‘Pride’ has been, like with most others, an integral part of my thinking and living, till early 2019 when I first theoretically understood and then gradually realized that ‘pride’ always, without exception, comes from the space of ego and self-indulgence.
Don’t get me wrong, though it’s negative, it’s the least negative emotion. Even on the consciousness scale, Dr. David Hawkins had put it as the least negative among other negative emotions – shame (most negative), guilt, apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger and then pride before the positive emotions start with courage and then neutrality, willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy, peace and lastly enlightenment. Let’s leave this scale of consciousness apart as it’s origin can be debatable, but just think of how pride operates.
When you’re ‘proud’ of something, notice that you mostly, consciously or subconsciously, look down upon what you believe is the opposite of the thing you’re proud of. Also, when you’re ‘proud’ of something, you are mostly intolerant of the criticism, even logical ones, of what you’re proud of. Polarization, that we see now in India as well on virtually all topics, is primarily because of ‘pride’. Everybody is taking ‘complete’ sides of the side they’re proud of, not even listening to both sides of the debate, forget about understanding it.
I know this might seem completely opposite of probably what you’ve heard till now. Instead of totally rejecting this idea, think about it. Should we instill pride in our children making them more or less egotistical and intolerant later in their lives just as we are, to a lesser or greater degree?
There’s a substitute, an extremely positive substitute to the word ‘pride’. It’s called ‘gratitude’. Instead of being proud of, say your country or religion or gender etc., you can be ‘grateful’ for all the good that you receive in life because of being from that country or religion or gender etc.
Replacing ‘pride’ with ‘gratitude’ makes one humble, peaceful, loving and compassionate towards even the opposite of what you’re grateful for. Initially you need to consciously replace this in your head whenever the feeling of pride arises. After months or years, ‘gratitude’ seeps in and ‘pride’ drops, as part of your inner core character. The true magic of compassion, peace and happiness begins then. Let’s share that magic. Stay blessed. 🙂
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