Why is pride even considered as a sin? It is included in the seven deadliest sins but it doesn’t even hurt anyone else, so why bother labeling someone as a sinner just because they are proud of themselves?
Pride is a sin because it directs people to develop a feeling that there is ‘something’ superior than the other. It makes people put a great amount of energy, time, and even money into that ‘something’, while in the same time demeaning the existence of other things. And often, that ‘something’ is their own selves. In some religion, pride is a sin because it makes people think that they are better than the gods themselves.
Let’s say, a boy in a class had been the smartest student around. He often got the teacher’s remarks, never got a test result below 90, and summarily was the sharpest kid in the school. Everything is great, nothing is wrong, but then the boy start to take his colleagues as mere ‘stupid failures’. He will start to change his attitude towards his friends, starting from his gaze, his posture when talking, his distance with his friends, then it would continue to affect his manner of speech, and even reduce his friendliness. He would be trapped in his own head, unable to look at his friends as anything but as possible obstacles in the future. When adapting those thought, it would be absorbed into his behavior, and later into his personality.
You might notice that the proudest people around have similar appearance with another overly-proud people. It’s true that they say the seven deadly sins could convert people into their ‘incarnation’.
On the other note, putting too much pride on something can really really kill you, and other people too. There are many suicide cases around that ring about a successful person who lost to the psychological impact of a failure. Having too much confidence into something could mean giving all your life into it; which means when that something fails, then it also fails to keep your life. It also can be referred as “succumbed to shame”, an expression I like to to say when hearing about people who can’t stand showing their failures to the world.
And you might have heard that one deadly sin can incur another deadly sins, e.g. wrath. Like there are also many murder cases. It shows that the perpetrator has a personal grudge towards the victim just because he/she got humiliated in the past. Putting too much pride over something can degrade someone’s common sense about impolite vocabularies, really.
You will rarely hear a cleaning service insulting a business manager. Not because they are afraid of the manager going to fire them, but their pride level is still too low to think that it’s time to spit on a manager’s face. They still got their brain functioning properly to understand “not to insult people”. What often happen is the otherwise, where a person with a high income offending a person with a lower income. But that doesn’t mean being in a lower-income person makes you immune of the deadly sins. On the other case, just two weeks ago, a news got viral about five cleaning service who assaulted a child until he got hospitalized. They planned the abuse because the child often disturb them while working. That’s a fruit of pride and wrath. They kill.
The problem of this sin is that there are too few method of oppressing the increasing level of pride inside someone. Pride are often used in a positive context, and so reducing the awareness of the danger that resides inside the pride. Some people even choose to make their pride as a way to live. Unlike lust that produces sexual predators and greed that produces sly businessmen, pride gives people successful achievements. This alone could make you wonder whether you really want to remove your pride…
The basic of growing pride is to obtain the feeling that you can always do better than the other people, so that means modesty is the tool to oppress the pride. To train modesty, you have to have respect towards another people. You can start by helping people around you who is poorer than you. Know the hardship other people live everyday and channel the struggle through your own muscle and sweat. That could make you understand what people go through their own problems everyday, not just you.
The next step is to act kind towards other people, even if they are so annoying. Let’s say, if you have that annoying auntie who you often meet. Face it, she won’t change until the end of time. You are the one who must take the first step. You can start by including her in any of your celebration. Suppose you have a birthday, try to spare her some of your birthday cake, even if it’s just for a slice or two. That would be a gesture to express your friendliness to her. It’s like a head start to a (hopefully) healthy relationship, especially if you meet often.
The third step is to reflect back in each kindness that you did. Really, some people could lose their sensitivity the warm feeling human gets when doing something good to other people. It’s not normal. To prevent that, you have to cherish every positive emotion (even the strangest one) that you get when you do something good to people. That way, you can keep in touch with your “inner angel” side and also get motivated to do more good to people. Remember to always do good to people, don’t just give it that one-shot of a lifetime.