The principle for this month is not an easy one. After all, pride blinds us all.
“Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought to think; but think so as to have sound judgement.”
In our current society, the idea that you should not think highly of yourself is outrageous. Everyone wants to be someone, and everyone wants others to notice how important they are, that they matter. But there is a difference between having value and having pride. And we all have a tendency to confuse the two.
Pride has been personally on my mind the last few months. I like to think of myself as a humble person, but then I realized, I have pride in my humility. What a thought. How can I actually be humble if I believe my humility makes me better than someone else? That’s just pride dressed up to look like humility.
And that is the danger of pride. It never looks like something we can conceptualize within ourselves. Instead, we tend to notice when others are revealing a prideful nature. And use that as the basis to describe what pride is, ignoring how it reveals itself in our own lives.
The foundation of this principle is that when we are thinking too highly of ourselves, we lose the ability to see things clearly and no longer have sound judgement. The problem is, we are prideful constantly all day long.
Think about it. How often are you more focused on speaking than listening? That’s pride. How often do you get frustrated because your day isn’t going the way you want? Pride again. What about when you feel the need to correct someone because you think you know a subject matter better than they do? Oops, that’s pride too.
So often we do things that unintentionally devalue other people. And each time, without knowing it, we are thinking “more highly of ourselves than we ought to think”. The lack of judgement being the devaluing of the other person.
While we will never be able to remove pride completely from our heart, we can learn to recognize it more and more. As we learn to recognize it, we become more adept at shifting our thoughts, allowing us to engage with others more effectively.