Pride: The Anti-Self-Esteem

We're supposed to instill pride in our children to make them stable people. But humility works even better.

BY: Frederica Mathewes-Green


This article first appeared on Beliefnet in 2002.

Here's why we hate those family newsletters we get during the holidays: "It's been a great year for the Lamplighters! Greg had been hoping for a promotion, but what a surprise when the CEO came to his desk and begged him to take over the company. The whole office chipped in and gave the family a week in Paris to celebrate. Wasn't that nice?

"Of course Jeanne has been busy as well. You probably saw that news item about how she rescued a school bus full of children from a kidnapper, armed only with a plastic comb. Nice to think, too, that the poem she wrote for last year's holiday letter will be chiseled into the wall of the Library of Congress. The twins did so well at the state tap-dance championship that Spielberg is crafting a movie around them, while Greg Jr.'s science fair project was the topic of much excitement in the New England Journal of Medicine."

Pride: we hate it. When we look at the Lamplighters, we sympathize with the ancients who called Pride the chief Deadly Sin.

But here's a modern complication: Isn't pride a good thing when we're proud of our country or football team? Don't we want our kids to be proud of themselves? Isn't it lack of pride, low self-esteem, which causes people to make self-destructive choices in life?


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