The word ‘Pride’ is often used in a negative context. Time and again, we are admonished on the dangers of pride and how it’s important to be humble in our walk through life. “You know…life comes with vicissitudes and changing patterns so you gotta stay humble”. Beyond having a sense of appreciation of our own achievements, family and friends, no other form of self-appreciation is welcome.
I think otherwise.
While pride that manifests as arrogance or conceit may be unattractive, the pride that emanates from a consciousness of one’s own dignity is a necessary motivator to not compromise on certain standards.
I find that the absence of pride is tantamount to devaluation. The unwholesome feeling of inadequacy or inclination to settle for what’s available rather than what we really want is borne out of decrepit self-worth.
The ubiquitous begging that dots the social media landscape is a case in point. Begging should be a last resort; the option we reluctantly go for when hit a cul de sac, but what obtains these days is the opposite. A random acquaintance or complete stranger, in some cases, only needs to perceive you as rich or at least possessing a few coins to request that you assist them with an urgent 2k.
Nobody should be comfortable begging, pride makes certain of this…but that’s assuming one possesses it.
As the election season approaches, political jobbers have begun to execute their self-imposed brief of queuing behind the politician that not only possesses the clout to win at the polls but also one that would most likely look their way in terms of employment.
Their deficient personal ideology again points to the absence of pride. For them, it’s all about the belly and who can fund their stomach infrastructure for the next four years. It explains their fluidity of purpose and innate penchant for cross-carpeting whilst defending their support for any of the two main parties that have over time proven to be lacking in conscience.
When I lost my job in 2016, I immediately knew I had to cut down on excesses until I had a stable source of income. I also intensified my search for freelance writing jobs, and this decision was not only a function of my new situation. I needed to get my mind busy as much as I needed funds to stay afloat… maybe even much more.
I also knew begging wasn’t an option if I got broke. Like I told a group of people I was speaking to after I had successfully waded the unemployment storm, I would rather earn a pittance by assisting shoppers to carry their purchases in the marketplace than beg because my pride wouldn’t let me. Thankfully, I did not have to resort to that. But I wrote for ridiculous sums.
I would also break my back and develop neck pains rewriting and editing foreign articles that paid 1,500 naira per piece, and while the monetary compensation was pitiable, the fact that someone somewhere was willing to pay for services helped to build my confidence. I knew I had a valuable skill that was worth paying for; I only needed to find better-paying clients.
It’s why I struggle to grapple with the recourse to begging by able-bodied men and women. Barring medical emergencies or unforeseen exigencies that have the tendency to wipe out one’s savings in one sweep, a beggarly attitude always produces bad optics.
Pride ensures one-half of a couple is uncomfortable laying all their financial burden on the other no matter how wealthy their partner is. They’d do all they can to contribute their token.
Pride reminds you to preclude yourself from needless arguments and roforofo fights on social media. You are never caught in the debasing web of gossip or slandering in the guise of ‘cruise’ because you realise that your reputation not only has a bearing on you but also on all the people who are affiliated with you.
If we had any pride as a nation, we would not be so quick to fall back on borrowing whenever we run into a financial hitch. Rather, we would look inwards; lawmakers would propose pay cuts for themselves without being harangued into it. The presidency would run personal expenses on a lean budget, and political appointees would jettison personal interest occasioned by greed for mutually beneficial ventures that eliminate the need to go aborrowing.
The good side of pride is that it rids you of laziness and a false sense of entitlement because you are constantly aware that you cannot operate below certain standards.
And so you show up; you loathe to make up the numbers, so you do not only show up, but you also contribute meaningfully to humanity. Your life is driven by purpose, and when you fall, you never linger on the floor for long.
My point? In all you do, get some pride; it could be your single most motivating factor.