Self-Satisfaction

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.

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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.

Contradiction?

Yes and No!

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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.

Dictionary.com 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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