When you say the word proud, it’s not always the issue that arrogant would follow. In a way, pride is thinking yourself better than others, superior to others, more worthy than others. Most shockingly as I have been told, pride is also thinking yourself lesser than others, always acting as though they are better than you, yet we never think of that.
I have been a proud fool before. I didn’t need wealth, to have rich parents, to be the most beautiful lady around or have the most beautiful shoes in school to be proud and arrogant. That’s the madness of pride, everybody can fall prey. But as always , I needed something, I was the kind of proud fool who thought myself better than others. I was among the best three in class in primary school but when it came to high school, I wasn’t always among the very best in class so I took to another trade, reading novels. In form one, being among the best was slightly easier, I was so proud when I got 100% in biology, but that was just a simple test actually. In form two ,I took pride in how I understood, and analysed poetry faster than most of my classmates, I would finish while almost the entire class cried we do not understand. And in form three it was the novels, many classmates read novels , detective stories ,vampire tales ,horrors like my favorite, One last Scream. So I had to be exceptional, so I sort of in a way read the novels others thought boring. Like Poor man , Rich Man , don’t mistake that for the business book Poor dad,Rich dad. I read When you fall in love by Mark J. Kiwummula , Every Young man’s battle and so on. Actually these books were at first just fun until friends started to say they had failed to read that one. It just felt so amazing that I had read it. One time my favorite teacher actually caught me reading a novel in class. Oh but I never read novels written by Africans except for strictly class purposes. No offence to African authors afterall my favorite novel was written by an African. But I found The Concubine by Chinua Achebe ( maybe) boring , so was The African Child by Camara Laye and I have actually never finished the African Child.
But reading was never the real reason for my pride. It just made a way for me to set myself apart in a special kind of way. Already my boyish ugly black shoes , huge uniform I was never going to reduce etc set me apart in a way, a way that made me feel like others were better than me. So books just evened things out. Problem with pride is you are selfishly thinking too much of yourself and noticing too much of yourself too. I loved ignoring people alot then, it was easy once I was so focused on my novel. Also I seemed to always think differently so it was sometimes so easy to isolate myself.
But I thought pride was a chapter closed in my life. So when I went to University, which was just recently, it seemed like all the madness was back. First of all, everybody around me always seemed to be talking of pride and arrogance, pointing fingers at this person then another and saying he is too proud, and he is so arrogant, or she is such a big show off. Chances are that if you notice someone is proud,you are kinda being proud too but that’s just in my imagination.
Back in that same world, afraid of being noticed , yet in a way wanting to be noticed. Realising I still can’t give answers in class due to the fear of being wrong. Ignoring people when it suited me and so on. I was trapped. It’s like once again I wasn’t seeking approval and attention from God alone but everybody around me. I hope I do get to win over this vice but it will be a life’s battle. For now I know that it’s not about pride, being proud and arrogant only matters to God because people matter to God, it matters that we notice our neighbors, pay attention to them and not just when it benefits us , be patient with them and never to reject people, not even due to the fear that they will reject us ? But all that only matters because people matter to God.
LORD, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow. Psalms 144:3-4.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Psalms 8:3-4.