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On the Edge of Iniquity

Tags: pride, good, bad

The grey area of pride.

Staring into to the murky depths of the sea, one can either catch a glimpse of their soul or be lost in their own narcissism. It is within this aqueous body where man makes part of the journey of life—to find their identity and become an eddy amidst the mainstream. But this ocean of pride is subject to spontaneous changes of composure, yielding different fates for pilgrims: either providing them with a satisfying happiness or cursing them with a storm until they are swallowed whole by their ego. It is a mirror reflecting the physical and mental well being of the one who gazes into it, so depending upon the circumstances, pride is either a catalyst of good health or a forsaken stain, smearing one’s moral compass. No matter the case though, it will always be a part of the human condition.

The amoral face of pride takes the form of a mist, tainting and blinding those lost in its encompassing presence. Under its influence they become smug and self-absorbed, believing themselves to superior, indulging in the sweetness of their vanity. Consequently, this blight upon righteousness has been a battleground for most religious institutions, which rally against this execrable wickedness, for centuries. At the forefront of this campaign of articulated thought, theological scholar Thomas Aquinas wrote of pride being, “… a special sin, because it has…an inordinate desire to excel. In another way it may be considered as redounding upon other sins: and in this way it has a certain general agency, inasmuch as all sins may arise out of pride." In this circle of damnation the only ray of salvation is humility—the archenemy of hubris—and with so few options of resistance, pride has definitely proven itself to be a potentially vile entity.

However in a different light, pride can be the very thing that makes life worthwhile; taking many forms and subtly guiding one’s decisions. It can be staying up later than thought to be humanly possible in order to go above and beyond, the courage to stand-up for what one believes in, and the joy following our children’s accomplishments—hoping that they will have a better life. It gives us the strength to choose what is right over what is easy, to keep our equanimity in times of hardship. Pride is the little moments that mean so much; the bridge between what is normal and what is extraordinary, and a medium for satisfaction.

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