Friday, April 10, 2009

Kay's Seven Deadly Challenges #7: "Pride"

"Before the Fall"
Raleigh, NC - October 2008 (Click to embiggen)

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I knew from the beginning that "Pride" would be a tough subject for a photograph, at least in this context. We take photographs of things we're proud of all the time. In some cases, the photo itself is the source of the pride. But is pride always sinful? Personally, I think not.

Pride is a natural human condition. We take pride in our accomplishments, in our children, in our children's accomplishments (especially in our children's accomplishments!). It's that sense of satisfaction that keeps us doing what we do day after day. I'm certainly no theologian (though some would call me an expert on sin anyway) but in my view pride (or any of the other seven deadlies for that matter) doesn't become a sin until it becomes excessive, until it becomes destructive. When it begins drive behavior and the behavior harms one's self or others, then we're starting to talk about sinful pride. The kind of pride that inevitably leads to the fall.

And there's probably nowhere in the country -- or perhaps even the world -- that encompasses a higher concentration of the most egregious sort of sinful pride than Washington, DC. I almost used the past tense here -- as in "encompassed" rather than "encompasses" -- but the facts would suggest otherwise. I will agree that the last two elections (2006 and 2008) brought dramatic improvement, but there is still an alarming lack of humility woven into the fabric of our government.

You'd think that the overwhelming results of those two elections -- with voters turning out in record numbers to be heard -- would have put the occupants of this building on notice. But it hasn't. Not on them and certainly not on their supporters. The spin doctors are never without work, no matter which side of the aisle they're on and no matter which side currently holds the reins of power. It has always been so, it will probably always be so. At least until the day when common sense and decency can overcome common pride. When it's okay for our leaders to reassess a position and even (gasp!) change it in the face of new information perhaps pride won't play such a huge role in how our nation is run.

Jimi Hendrix probably said it best: "When the power of love is greater than the love of power, the world will know peace."Violence UnSilenced

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Anonymous said...

Mojo if the U.S. were Cinderella this photo would be her glass slipper. I cannot think of another photo better suited to the theme "Pride". Well thought out.

Raven said...

Love the quote at the end. I'm not sure the problem in Washington is Pride as much as it's stupidity and greed, but that could be my bitterness speaking.

Raven said...

Oh... and I think most of us could use a little more pride... there's a lot of low self esteem out there. Good post.

Shadow said...

jimmy hendrix said that? wow. he was wise indeed!

Pouty Lips said...

I think this is a great interpretation of the theme.

Anonymous said...

I'm reading the book Ladies of Liberty, by Cokie Roberts. It has certainly opened my eyes to the fact that shenanigans have been going on in U.S. politics since the very beginning of our country.

Your essay on pride is well thought out and well written. You should be proud! ;)