Pride makes most of us do stupid things. I don't know the true origin of the quote, but in the context of the current discussion around harassment and assault someone said that women are afraid men will rape and kill them, while men are afraid that women will laugh at them.
Being laughed at hurts pride. People are afraid to be vulnerable, open, honest, and direct. People are afraid to do this because so often it leads to a negative consequence for the vulnerable person. This is probably, most basically, because there are a lot of downright terrible people in the world.
Our culture drives us to be prideful; to be strong; to be growing, yearning, and in charge.
There is value and power in ambition. Hard work, grit, and striving for a better world, better job, better life, these things make us improve ourselves. We must have pride in our actions, our behaviors, and our accomplishments to be the best person we can be. This is good pride. This is powerful pride.
Unfortunately, so much pride is avoiding being honest. It is in avoiding being laughed at by others. We endeavour to move forward at the cost of others, instead of at the benefit of us all.
So many people are focused on winning, no matter what. The language and culture we grow up in leads us to this. This culture is the culture of cheating NFL teams with billionaire owners. This is the culture of those billionaries paying their cheerleaders pennies per hour.
Good pride is only gained through winning with high moral standards and values. There is no value in winning through cheating. Unfortunately, that's usually how winning really works. People want what they want; they will take or cajole to get it. They will steamroll, push, obfuscate, or lie. Most of it's not even really necessary, but people think it is.
We have to fight against it, but that is hard. It is hard to be open. It is hard to be frank. It is hard to be honest. It is really hard to lose. It's better to lose sometimes than win. It's better to preserve your morals and your happiness in order to win the big war, instead of the small battle.
I don't have concrete suggestions that don't sound lame. So let me know open, honest, and frank. I am aghast how terrible people are to one another. People treat their own family like shit. Or, they treat everyone outside their family like shit. Why? Probably because they were treated like shit. Shit goes around and around in circles. Everyone trying to get to the top of the pile of shit.
I want to leave that pile of shit behind. If you want to scheme, lie, fight, take advantage, you can have that pile of shit. I am going to leave your shit-filled sandbox and find a new sandbox. If only there were an alternate world that had a new sandbox. Unfortunately, there is only one Earth and it seems today to be quite filled with shit.
I am inspired and I am proud. There is so much power in the experiences of my friends and colleagues and family. I am proud simply to be able to be in their company. I am inspired by their stories. We're building a new sandbox. If you're nice you can come play.
Subscribe to This is Matthew
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox