Pride means having a feeling of being good and worthy without any credit given to all the other people in your life and the many privileges present in your life. Privilege strongly enables all of your achievements. Pride is in fact a sin because it is selfish sense of self-worth. We all should have dignity and self-esteem. Instead of using the word “proud” to describe how we feel about our nationality or good fortune and hard work we should use the words “thankful”. Thankful to be an American, since it is generally just random luck to be an American by birth. We can be “grateful” for our children and “impressed” with their achievements and “thankful” of their good choices in life and “happy” or “satisfied” with their successes. But “pride” is always a bad word choice and a sin because pride is a condition of failing to recognize that you and yourself alone did not achieve something in isolation. The adjective is proud.
For this reason, word pride can only truly be used in a bad sense.
Use of the words “pride” or “proud” are confused in recent times with the feelings of “self-respect”; being “satisfied” or “impressed” or “happy” with their achievements. They erroneously use the word “proud” in the context of something good that they have done but pride is a self-absorbed word. People confuse being “proud of (or take pride in) their work” when the better word choice is satisfaction, happiness, being impressed with. People confuse being proud of their son or daughter or husband or wife or anyone else who is close to them and who has done something good but a better word choice would be satisfied with, grateful for, happy to know, lucky to be with or lucky to have. People can confuse being proud of their country (patriotism) when in fact they cannot take credit for their citizenship, in fact they are lucky or grateful to have been randomly born into a particular nation, religion, culture.
In actuality pride means that someone has an unthankful self-made isolated view of their own worth. They do not recognize the presence of luck or others’ help or labor in relation to their own luck or satisfaction. In fact, this is what is meant when people talk about privilege. Privilege is the recognition that every random aspect of our birth, such as having one nationality or another, one culture or another, one religious tradition or another, one skin color or another, one gender or another, enables us in someway over others and that none of us have any control over our privileges. To have a sense of self satisfaction or self worth based on a random privilege is pride.
Pride means that someone with a random set of privileges has no respect for what other people do, only respect for what he or she does in the context of a great amount of unrecognized privilege. Someone who is described as proud is someone who is arrogant or lacking an awareness of the context of privilege in relation to their achievements. Pride may also mean over-confidence. The word is used in this sense in the saying: “Pride comes before a fall” (meaning that someone is so overconfident that he or she might soon have a disaster). Someone who fails to recognize their support network will definitely lose their support network at some point.
When one’s Success is defined only by one’s achievements without regard to other people’s role in that achievement and without regard to one’s privilege it is considered pride. True self-worth and success should instead be based upon both an awareness and thankfulness for your privilege, others contributions to your success and then your achievements and hard work in relation to your privilege “aka your blessings”. When all of these factors are recognized, your success will not display pride. Be thankful of all the things that contribute to your successes and be mindful of others who are less privileged so we can lift them up as we were lifted up. Every one and everything in our lives make us who we are, not ourselves alone. Even bad things in our life can be a privilege if we can learn something positive from them. A lack of a sense of this fact is “pride”. Refuse to be proud...be thankful. A lack of pride leads to more compassion. Pride blocks compassion. Compassion is the pinnacle of virtue. Because pride is a blockage towards virtue, that is why pride is considered to be one of the seven deadly sins.