Pride Goes Before a Fall

Pride is a high opinion of one’s own importance and is often considered to be the motivation to strive for success. However, pride can also be considered dangerous, since it can lead to arrogance and evoke the need to preserve self-worth, which results in regrettable decisions.

One of the most common hazards of pride is the potential to become conceited. Having an overly high opinion of one’s own importance, creates an arrogant mindset in which one glorifies all of their accomplishments and abilities. After multiple successes, every achievement adds to one’s perception of their self worth and dwindles the incentive to strive. Without this motivation, a person becomes less thorough in their execution of a plan, leading to trouble. For example, beloved American singer, Mariah Carey, became a notorious viral sensation because of a disastrous New Year’s Eve performance in which her poor choice prompted her own fans to ruthlessly insult her for behaving in an arrogant manner. The famous billionaire’s cockiness in her ability resulted in her being exposed on live television for lip-synching her entire song. In a later interview with Vanity Fair, the pop star admitted that she performed her songs without properly preparing with sound checks stating, “I’m sorry. It was a mess and I blame myself for not practicing at rehearsal.” After three decades of fame and success, Mariah Carey believed she could perform at “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve 2016” without practice. It is clear that both Mariah Carey’s opinion of her ability and her ego were highly influenced by her successes overtime and in return, clouded her judgment and behavior.

In addition, those who are overly proud often attempt to maintain their egos and status. In some cases, self glory can serve as the reason to engage in harmful behaviors as individuals seek to protect their self-esteem. Therefore, a loss of pride is usually associated with humiliation and can lead people to participate in aggressive behavior. For instance, Houston Rockets’ center, Dwight Howard, was caught using a banned substance before a basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks in March of 2016. Dwight Howard was assessed for spraying his hands with “Stickum”, a material used to improve grip, in hopes of keeping possession of the ball more on the court. When the ball was eventually passed to Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks, he claimed the ball had been tampered with and showed it to the referees. The referees then concluded that Dwight Howard was behind the incident, and a sports scandal had spread across all media. It was clear Dwight Howard utilized this sneaky maneuver in order to win, ironically because losing the game would tarnish his reputation. Later in an interview with the New York Post, Dwight Howard stated, “I’ve never been a cheater, never been the type of player that has to do something illegal to win. It’s upsetting, but I can’t control it now.” This portrays that Howards’ pride caused his self imposed pressure to maintain his image as a great athlete, which led to him harming his career and losing who he truly was along the way.

Several people may argue that having pride can be extremely motivating, however this particular type of motivation often times leads to unpleasant choices that can cause severe harm to other people and have various negative outcomes. For example, Adolf Hitler often preached about having pride in the German people and why he believed Germans were the superior race to civilians in his nation. Along with this, the historical dictator also spread many propaganda posters across his country to further spread this pride as well as motivate fellow Germans to partake in his mission. Adolf Hitler utilized this national pride as motivation to promote and justify the Holocaust in order to remove the threats to his plan. As a result of his pride induced motivation, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party promoted state sponsored genocide of Jews and other minority groups, in which about eleven million people lost their lives. Adolf Hitler was aware of the fact that his pride was the cause of Germany’s mass destruction and chaos. In fact, Hitler stated, “For it was my pride to have brought about this revolution in Germany … a revolution which led to the greatest upheaval ever seen on earth.” This portrays that Hitler

Although statistically being confident can prominently assist in excelling beyond expectations, having too much pride not only results in cockiness, but also impels people to maintain their ego leading to unfavorable choices.

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