Pride is golden and radiant, and seventeen things more!
Pride is the passion of a great, strong soul that feels its power; vanity is only the pleasure for a small, weak soul that overestimates petty things beyond merit. (Karl Julius Weber)
1. Pride is biologically adaptive.
The evolutionary function of pride is to communicate social status nonverbally. An erect, expansive posture with a glowingly confident smile signals a high rank in the social hierarchy. With an authentic expression of pride, you let everyone around you know that you deserve more food, more power, and more sex. Therefore, pride is biologically adaptive.
2. Pride is not ego.
Your hubristic ego is a bloated self-image unbacked by actual achievements, a self-fabricated sense of grandeur amounting to nothing but a hideous delusion, an exaggerated narrative of self-worth signaling twenty units of vain insecurity for every one unit of social value. While egoistic pride is about who you are, genuine pride is about what you do. Therefore, pride is not ego.
Vanity is craving for personal renown: it is not for your qualities, merits, actions you want to be esteemed, honoured, sought out, but because of your individuality. That is why vanity best clothes a frivolous beauty. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
3. Pride is earned and rational.
The pride you take in passive associations is false and unmerited. What have you actively done to help your favorite sports team win (unwarranted team pride), to make your country as great as it is (blind nationalism), to have a dick or vagina with specific sexual preferences (sexual pride), or to be born with white blood and skin (racial pride)? Again, while false pride is about who you are, true pride is about what you do—in proper relation to your competencies, skill development, what you actually get done. Well-measured greatness resulting from real achievement. Therefore, pride is earned and rational.
Now the man is thought to be proud who thinks himself worthy of great things, being worthy of them; for he who does so beyond his deserts is a fool, but no virtuous man is foolish or silly. (Aristotle)
4. Pride is an indicator of maturity.
While hubris decreases from adolescence into old age, the trend for true pride is invers. Older people express more authentic and less hubristic pride than younger people. Therefore, pride is an indicator of maturity.
5. Pride is confidence.
Pride confronts you emotionally with your unique greatness. If you experience pride, you have proven your competence; and if you are competent, you have confidence in your abilities. Therefore, pride is confidence.
6. Pride is arrogance only in envious eyes.
Narcissistic pretension is arrogance that demonstrates low self-esteem and a lack of authentic pride. If, however, your pride is genuine, proper, and independent of other people’s opinions, it will be seen as conceited only by those who project their own issues onto you. Accordingly, pride is arrogance only in envious eyes.
7. Pride is important for sexual attraction.
Sexual and romantic relationships are grounded in the polarity between the masculine and feminine. Have you ever felt that you love a woman because she makes you feel like a man? Conversely, women look for and fall in love with masculine men who make them feel feminine. To the extent that you want to be proud of your sexual strength, you will be attracted to people who evoke that strength in you. Furthermore, confidence and social status are attractive and both signaled by pride. Therefore, pride is important for sexual attraction.
8. Pride is a golden mean.
Although the emotion of true pride is never bad, its expression can be unfavorable in certain situations. In particular, the higher your level of power, the less prideful you want to appear. This implies that in every given social context, you must find the middle between being an arrogant prick and being a submissive coward in order to find true pride. Therefore, pride is a golden mean.
9. Pride is a source of humility.
Your outward expression of humility is a cunning mechanism of your pride by which you lower yourself to raise yourself. Even on the inside: Think about a situation where you felt, thought, and acted with remarkable humility. Didn’t you take pride in being so laudably humble? Or maybe you felt an urge to boastfully show off your greatness, but you managed to keep your ego in check. Didn’t this make you feel good about yourself? It may be meta, but such pride is very true. Without the reinforcing feel-good quality of pride, you’d never want to humble yourself. Therefore, pride is a source of humility.
10. Pride is key for intellectual endeavors.
Much of what you do on an intellectual level is driven by pride. The feeling you get when you think an intriguing thought, have an original idea, ask a good question, make a witty remark, present a persuasive argument, write an excellent essay, or create an ingenious piece of art—this feeling is a spawn of your pride. Therefore, pride is key for intellectual endeavors.
11. Pride is the engine that drives morality.
To be moral is to be virtuous. Yet virtue is not some unworldly, godly good, nor an end in itself, but a practical means to feel good about yourself. Even if you do good deeds not for reward, honor, praise, and acknowledgement, you still want some inner emotional satisfaction. You want to feel good about yourself, particularly your moral worth as a human being. You are virtuous because you want to experience true pride. Therefore, pride is the engine that drives morality.
12. Pride is controllable happiness.
General happiness is not a good goal to have. You have to treat that feeling like a woman. Let her come and please you if she wants, but do not chase after her. The feminine makes for bad goals. Good goals are masculine: effort-dependent, effort-rewarding. The harder you work, the greater your chances of success. That’s a good goal, and it’s also the principle of true pride. How proud you feel is entirely under your control. You can choose how much willpower you exert, how strong you stay, how long you persist, and how hard you go. The pleasure and satisfaction you gain from pride are entirely under the reign of your will. Therefore, pride is controllable happiness.
13. Pride is fuel for self-discipline.
The prospect of pride is your most sustainable form of motivation. It motivates you to take action, discipline yourself, enforce your will, and stay mentally tough. Once you have exerted your willpower, the experience of pride is your internal reward that conditions you to exert it again in the future. You feel capable, strong, powerful, and you want this feeling never to cease. The dynamics of pride experience and pride anticipation constitute your self-motivation for controlling yourself in the long term. Therefore, pride is fuel for self-discipline.
14. Pride is the emotional foundation for personal growth.
All forms of self-improvement demand a powerful will. You won’t build good habits or accomplish any goals without self-discipline. Even spiritual growth, driven by the disciplined daily practice of mindfulness, requires pride-fueled willpower. Therefore, pride is the emotional foundation for personal growth.
15. Pride is the basis of human freedom.
Your freedom as a man is your ability to do your True Will and to act in line with your values in spite of distractive emotions and desires. You are free when you act with a cool mind, coming from a state of mindcoolness. Yet this doesn’t mean that you behave purely rational and emotionless; reason and emotion are always intertwined. Rather, a cool mind allows you to motivate your self-efficacious actions with the emotion of true pride, to drive your autonomous behavior with the desire for pride. Therefore, pride is the basis of human freedom.
16. Pride is gratitude.
As you don’t have a free will, the greatness you ascribe to yourself is illusory on at least one level of description. On that level, you can be grateful to God or Nature for having equipped you with a will whose strength grants you so much pride. Beyond the illusion of greatness, your pride is a radically self-accepting appreciation—a gratefulness for your will. In this sense, pride is gratitude.
17. Pride is an ideal of balance.
Self-respect does not extend outside us, and is only attributed to one who knows the real worth of his perfection, dispassionately and without seeking esteem for himself. (Baruch Spinoza)
Intense pride may be unachievable. On the one hand, if you’re blinded by your greatness, you’re not great anymore. On the other hand, if you’re overwhelmed by humility and completely detached from ego desires, your pride won’t grow particularly strong, but be more like dispassionate self-respect. Therefore, strong true pride is an ideal of balance.
True be thy pride, golden and radiant!