This is why Mike Keneally is my hero. He has a song called “Pride is a Sin” and here is some unpacking of that concept he did in an interview over at seaoftranquility.org:
I think that pride as an emotion or as a way of being, it’s like it cuts off possibilities. It cuts off emotions and feelings. Pride is self … you puff yourself up and it’s like you can’t hear or you can’t feel. And frequently these are hardcore religious people who go on and on about how proud they are. But that’s thing one if you’re going to have any kind of enlightenment is to let go of that shit. Remove yourself from the equation to the best of your ability. Stop being centered on how you feel and how proud you are of your accomplishments. Anything that happens to you is a gift so how can you feel proud of it? Grateful. That’s how I feel about it.
Thanks, Mike. To take it a step further, I think pride is often something that’s only expressed in the face of criticism. Black pride and gay pride are things that only come in opposition to prevailing attacks on their particular cultures. And white pride is something that probably comes from the same thing, but only gets expressed by people who aren’t confident enough in themselves as individuals that they have to identify with a group to compensate for their own deficiencies. However thin you slice it, it’s still baloney. Pride is a sin; everything is a gift so stay humble.