Pride v. Proud

Self-pride, I’ve been told, is a bad thing. When I was young, I was told not to be proud about my looks, my grades, my accomplishments. But I was also told to have confidence in those things. I didn’t understand, so I tried not to be proud of myself. But then, what is the point of doing well at anything?

Now I am grown, I think I understand better the difference between being overly proud or boastful and having pride in oneself. It is good to take pride in who you are and what you’ve done.

I’m getting a lot of “congratulations” right now because I just published my second poetry chapbook. They aren’t the Great American Novel, they aren’t published by a prestigious publisher, I don’t spell well without spellcheck, and they may not be award-winning or best-sellers. But I am proud that I did it. I am proud of myself because it was frightening and took time and research and dedication. I am even proud of my poems because I think they are pretty good. Why shouldn’t I be proud? This time last year, I had not published anything – now I have.

Taking pride in your ability to help people, or to achieve something – I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. One should not be overly proud or think they are better than other people. That is self-aggrandizing and pretentious. But yes, I am proud of what I have accomplished. Aren’t you?

What do you think? Can you be proud without falling victim to the evils of pride?

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