Not needing the approval of others: Healthy Pride!

A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep. Vernon Howard

Good Monday Morning to this week 46/2017

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.
Galations 6:4

Sometimes I am a bit surprised by what people write on social media. This one called my attention this week. “Pride is the root of all evil and kills from within”, with many following the clip and commenting: Yes, pride the silent killer, true, sure, absolutely, humility is best and many more simply stating all pride was bad.

Yes, there is the form of pride being labelled by the Bible as one of the 7 deadly sins. So, might there be a “bad pride”, but a “good pride”, absent all the former’s negative connotations? Additionally, might pride exist along a continuum? as in, pride is positive up to a certain level, but beyond that it’s malignant? Or might bad pride—let’s call it “unhealthy pride not be an excess of “healthy pride” but a different facet of personality altogether? There is the self-centred and boastful, that makes us take credit for everything we are and everything we do. Instead of realising that we are dependent on God and the family, in our unhealthy pride we ignore God and the family and believe we can get along without them!

Yet, there is much reason for the “healthy pride”. For example, “A pride of Lions”, a family of lions. They learn to lead and to trust the pride, seeking guidance and wisdom from the family, friends, and teachers who surround them on the journey.

At about three years of age, young lions are no longer tolerated by their family, the pride. This driving out of young male lion is vital to the survival of the pride. First, they go to nomadic life, usually consisting of a period of scavenging and wandering over a large area until the young lion is ready to join another pride, it means conquering. After being kicked out, young male lions either roam alone or in small bands often with their brothers or cousins. At such age, their only option is to survive the unknown lands or perish. In fact, this is the time when most of them die; only about one in eight male lions make it to adulthood. Those who do survive and find a new territory have to take over another pride. So, when a male lion goes through all such troubles and finally makes it, he ends up by being a fit, strong, intelligent, and skilled leader. Only then is he ready and capable of having his own pride and protect it. Only then can he assume the role of the King of the Savannah. This is how lions grow through life and become the majestic creatures they are.

Healthy pride is about self-confidence, reflecting an intrinsically motivating “can do” attitude.

Healthy pride represents a positive notion of self-worth, and it’s based on a history where personal effort and expenditure of energy led to success.

Healthy pride is expressed in an assertive fashion, and it’s most often conveyed implicitly. It’s a quiet, self-assured affirmation of one’s capabilities.

Healthy pride has nothing to do with comparing oneself advantageously (and frequently unfairly) to others, whereas a person with unhealthy pride regularly brags about their (often exaggerated) accomplishments.

Healthy pride is authentic. It’s an accurate, realistic estimate of one’s abilities, that isn’t a “hubristic” pride that makes distorted claims about one’s capacities.

Healthy pride relates to a person’s acting pro-socially.  Those with healthy pride motivate and inspire others to take their lead and join them.

Finally, healthy pride—unlike the unhealthy variety—isn’t egocentric. And that’s why those with such pride can take pride not just in their own accomplishments but in those of others as well. They can be proud of their children, their spouse, parents, friends, students—anyone whom they identify as showing the ability to advance themselves, or others, by putting forth their best effort.

Wishing you a “generous portion” of healthy pride this week!

Philemon