I ASK if we live in a world where 'self' is more important than 'other’.

If we define pride, it might be easier to decide.

Pride does not care about WHAT is right. It looks sideways and argues WHO is right. Pride may be characterised by ‘What do I want out of life?’ rather than by ‘What can I give with my life?’ It is self-will as opposed to goodwill. Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of pride.

The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.” We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them.

The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any otherworldly measuring device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.”

Pride is a problem that can readily be seen in others. Most of us consider pride to belong to those on the top, such as the rich and the learned, looking down at the rest of us. We ignore the far more common ailment among us—and that is pride from the bottom looking up. It is manifest in so many ways, such as fault finding, gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous.

This week, can we challenge ourselves to live without pride?

Diane Loggenberg Altrincham Interfaith Group, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints