One of my best qualities is my humility. Bahahaha…
Sorry, even I can’t keep that façade up over the internet, sitting at a computer and writing to you. I am not what I would consider to be a truly humble person. I may not be able to be considered even a moderately or slightly humble person. The best I can hope for is that I am not pretentious or a complete and total asshole. But… at least I know that. I am not proud of that, but knowing is (Yo! Joe!) half the battle.
Or is it?
Do I work on that? I mean, that’s the real question, isn’t it? Am I actively seeking assistance or participating in my “pride” recovery? I think I do. I do the whole self-deprecation jokes about my age, my hairline, my weight… I admit where I need improvement both to myself and my “inner circle”. And usually, in my blogs. (My mother thinks that is the most ridiculous thing. Mamaw Sue does, too… “Hon, why would you put your trash on the front porch… carry it around back”.) And as a genteel and “fabulous” southern boy, I was raised to carry on that façade and that tradition. We came from a good family, we had a little scrap of land and money, and we were nice, solid participants within and of the community. So, even with the pride I carry with me daily, I can openly admit, “I get it honest.”
Are YOU a “prideful” person? There is no shame in admitting it. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be good, even great, at what you do. There is nothing wrong with taking pride in a job well done and making sure that you try your hardest and do your best! We were just raised to do that. Well, if you had decent home training, you were raised to do that. So, what is your greatest achievement? What are you most proud of? These are questions you should ask yourself and you need to keep in your mind. There are healthy amounts of pride that keep us from becoming unhygienically homeless. But there are times when our pride gets the best of us. For instance, can you admit when you are wrong? I have the hardest time with that and it’s something I have to continuously work on. I have to really make myself listen and not become IRATE when challenged and then, rarely, but possibly proven wrong! Can you admit when you don’t remember something, or when you have been proven incorrect? Have you ever “dropped the ball?” How did you handle that situation?
#DailyProverbs 11:2 People who are proud will soon be disgraced. It is wiser to be modest.
My grandmother used to wander her house, and whenever she’d overhear conversations or arguments, she’d casually mutter some quote. She has thousands of them, or she’d quietly intone, “Pride goeth before a fall, hon…” Old church ladies love saying that. They say it to singers. They say to preachers and evangelists. They say to the preacher’s wife. They say it to the lady that wins the county fair pie contest. They say it to their daughters, their grandchildren, their friends. One NEVER says it to your momma… but you do say it to everyone else. I can hear it now, “Pride goeth before a fall, hon…”
The only problem is that it’s WRONG.
I swannee I could hear screeching tires and the *gay gasp* come from THREE states around me. But they are WRONG! That’s not the scripture. That’s not the quote.
“MichaelK, you shut the hell up before your Mamaw Sue comes and slaps your dirty, lying, whore mouth!”
Well, she can slap it, and she can be mad, but I’d still be right, and that would STILL be the wrong and incorrect quote. Imagine that – old southern white people misquoting the Holy Bible, God’s Unerring Word!!!
The correct and proper quote is
Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Now, what does that mean? Pride goeth before destruction,.... As it did in the angels that sinned, who, through pride, fell into condemnation, not being able to bear the thought that the human nature, in the person of the Son of God, should be advanced above theirs; and as it did in our first parents, who, not content with their present state and circumstances, and ambitious of being as gods, knowing good and evil, ruined themselves and all their posterity…
and a haughty spirit before a fall; or, "a high spirit", or "height of spirit"; a man that carries his head high; looks upwards, and not to his goings, sees not at what he may stumble, and so falls: moreover, the bigger a person or thing is, the greater is the fall; and very often when a man has got to the height of his riches and honor, and is swelling with pride and vanity on account of it, he is on the precipice of ruin, and his fall is immediate…
Think on that for a moment. I am serious. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath, and think about pride and how having TOO much pride is destructive. Now, think about yourself, your family, your favorite celebrity… think about people that you love. One of our biggest raves and compliments to FAMOUS people is that they “are so down to earth,” right? Whenever we meet a famous person that seems sweet and nice and takes a moment with us, we always talk about how “normal” they are or how “they are just like real people.” So, what happens when they are not? You usually end up disappointed and feeling let down from your celebrity encounter. You also might end up liking them a little less. I feel for them. I really do. What else do we expect? What happens after years in the spotlight and years at the top? Bitches change. People seriously go crazy and truly get weird and expect their way. It all starts with pride.
Then… BAM! They do something COLASSALLY stupid. They expect special treatment. They are usually filmed either during or around the incident. They are in the tabloids, in rehab, in jail, and out of favor… and we eat it up. The formula is pretty old. The results are tried and true: then when they get humble, we forgive, they have a comeback, and BAM…the cycle starts again.
Are you this way? No, don’t get offended… it’s a legitimate question. Are you this way in your life? Are you this way in your personal relationships? Is it all or nothing? Is it your way or the highway? MUST you have your way? MUST you be the center of attention? MUST you always be the one that is “right?” If you are letting your pride get in the way of your relationships, your finances, your spirituality, getting help, seeking counsel, and improving yourself both spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially, then you are headed for destruction. You are headed quickly and directly for complete, utter and total annihilation. You are headed for disaster.
How does one prevent this trip straight to hell in a pridefully-lined handbasket? Well, it’s not always pleasant, and it isn’t exactly easy, but here is a little test I do for myself. I look myself in the eyes every day. If I can’t, then I need to change or make amends or fix the situation I am not sitting so well with. If I can, then I am doing pretty good. It starts every morning with my shaving. Can I look at my face and into my eyes while I am shaving in the morning, or fixing my hair? Am I lying to myself? Well, I can’t lie to myself. I can lie pretty good to others, but not to myself. Am I okay? Am I being the best me? If those answers are no, or I can’t honestly answer them, then I have some soul searching to do and some things to fix.
You try it. Try it and see for yourself. See if you can live or die with yourself… Try it and see if you tell yourself the truth… Try it and see if you are truly okay…
Now, if you are not okay, or if you can’t not lie to yourself, then you have some work to do. And if that’s the case, don’t let pride stop you from seeking counsel and help from family, friends, and trusted advisors. I am serious. I challenge you, be better. I challenge you to try harder and fight your selfishness and vanity. I challenge you to push your pride away and truly seek a better way to be with yourself, with your family, with your friends, with those you interact with, and with strangers.