What is pride? You might be aware that the words ‘pride’ and ‘proud’ can have different meanings. They are sometimes used in a negative way to describe somebody who values themselves way above others which gives rise to the warning or saying that “Pride comes before a fall” (meaning we should be careful not to boast and brag about ourselves because our circumstances or luck may eventually change).
The type of pride that we are talking about however is a good type of pride which is associated with self-respect, dedication and thoughtfulness. It means that we are always thorough and – no matter how complicated or difficult a task or problem may be – we get every last detail just right.
Everybody likes a ‘job well done’. It is a bit annoying, for example, when we get home with our drive-through meal and find that the fries are missing! ….. or we might pay somebody to repair our leaky roof only to find two weeks later that it still leaks ….. or you might travel all the way across town for an appointment only to find that it has been cancelled but nobody bothered to tell you. Even something as simple as a person who mows their front lawn but does not sweep the trimmings from the public path can cause us to ‘tut’ and complain that they have ‘not done a proper job’.
So we may feel justified in complaining about other people who fail to do their jobs properly but we should look very carefully at ourselves first. How many times, for example, are we just as guilty of ‘cutting corners’ to finish something quickly. Quite often we know exactly what we should do to make sure we have done a proper job but we deliberately do less (or fail to do the job properly) to get it finished quickly. Odd isn’t it ! ….. we criticise and complain when other people do not carry out their tasks properly but feel totally justified when we do it ourselves.
If we can get into a routine of taking pride in whatever we do we will not only get a lot more satisfaction from our tasks but also develop a lifelong habit of always giving 100%. If I take the time to sweep up all of the leaves from the backyard (rather than sweeping up as few as possible) I am cultivating self-respect and integrity by completing the task as thoroughly as possible. By taking pride in everything we do and encouraging others to do the same we are helping to create a world where everybody takes the time and effort to fulfil their responsibilities thoroughly and thoughtfully.
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