Is Pride Good or Bad?

Recently, I was asked to help create a workshop, “Pride in the Workplace.” My fundamentalist background immediately asked the question, “Isn’t pride a bad thing?” Yet at the same time, I knew exactly what they meant by the assignment. It was not about encouraging self-importance; it was about encouraging a collective self-satisfaction.

Wow! That was a mouthful! Let me try that again.


Management want employees to show respect for their workplace. They want to empower their staff. They desire workers to be pro-active in keeping their environment safe and looking good.

Surely none of that is a bad thing!

And yet we call that “pride”.

The original meaning of the word is two-fold:

  1. It implies being possessed with conceit that shows itself superior and full of contempt;
  2. It includes being possessed with values that esteems itself to achievement.


Yes and No!


On one hand, the two lines contradict between arrogance and dignity. On the other hand, the two lines are the same. Pride is a characteristic that empowers someone to rise above others.

Obviously, one way has a negative impact on others; the alternative has a positive impression.

Don’t you love the English language?

None of this is an issue for you who are grammarians. You are well aware that as a transitive verb with the reciprocal pronoun, to pride one’s self is:

  • to indulge pride
  • to take pride
  • to value one’s self
  • to gratify self-esteem. gives two examples:

  1. They pride themselves in their wealth, dress or equipage.
  2. He prides himself in his achievements.

At least I now can answer the question! Pride can be bad; but in the context of taking pride in your workplace: it is positive, empowering and to be promoted.

Author: A Sojourner's Diary

Dr Timothy Rose is a long-term student of ancient writings seeking practical wisdom for the life journey under the sun.

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