Sunday, August 24, 2014


As a sin, Pride has always given us problems. Jane Austen even wrote an entire novel about the perils of justified Pride being confused with inordinate Pride. It is a tricky concept, and that ambiguity continues to dog human activity. We are proud of our accomplishments, yet we value humility. We only give lip service to Pride as a deadly sin because of this confusion. And so it spreads unchecked.

Why is this so difficult? Nikita Khrushchev thunders "We will bury you," yet the Berlin Wall eventually falls. George W. Bush announces in his infamous Mission Accomplished Speech: "The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done and then we will leave and we will leave behind a free Iraq," and another region of the world falls into statelessness. The examples are too numerous to detail.

A better word is Hubris. According to the Oxford Dictionary, Hubris: (In Greek tragedy) excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis. Or, as often attributed to Euripides "Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first drive mad."

That is Pride. That is madness. That is the arrogance that leads to first and last voyages.

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