Proud But Not Prideful

It took me many years of marriage to a prideful man to realize that he had no pride but plenty of insecurity.  I recall being entranced by my former husband’s dialogue with others when we would go to the open mic nights around town.  He projected himself as a thinker and often shared his thoughts about the situations that surrounded us.  As an undergrad student most of my favorite teachers had a charismatic way that bordered arrogance–but I enjoyed listening and responding to these prideful people.  Young, eager and ready to explore the world, these people knew stuff and had been places and were excited to share–so I thought.

Several years later while in grad school I took a philosophy class called Evil.  This class amazed me as I sat in a room full of people who knew stuff and were excited to share their thoughts and experiences.  But something was missing.  The only place I could find pride-fullness was in The Book of Job.  The professor that spoke eight languages and had 40 years of research and lecture experience was not prideful.  The exchange student from China that questioned our society’s connection to a God that took everything from Job was not prideful.  The group of young girls that registered together as audits for this grad level class did not carry pride-fullness as they embraced their youthfulness in room of elders.  These people were missing the insecurity that blends with excitement and pride which creates pride-fullness.

When I started my list, this is the first guideline I required of my future mate.  I no longer would live with arrogance in my home, around my family, and in my social environments–these would be memories.  I will never be in a relationship again that makes me feel stupid for being myself.  I will never be talked to like I could not think.  I will never listen to someone I love speak down to someone else I love.  I will never again love someone whose insecurity makes them believe they know more than others.

“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”

                                                                                       –Saint Augustine

A couple of years later I was having lunch with the other women in the office when I mentioned that I had a little crush on Jeff.  Mostly, I wanted to see if they had an interest in him or knew if he had a girlfriend.  I played it down of course.  One woman said “Jeff, who? That guy in the puffy suit?”  Another woman’s response was somewhat neutral, but it was the response from the last lady that perked my ears.  It turns out she and her husband had known Jeff for years and knew plenty about him.  While she gave very little gossip I read through the lines that I could securely check off my list item number one.   I did not need to hear it from her to know that “Jeff will never make anyone feel bad about themselves–he is really that secure and intelligent.”

So yes, I married him and he is proud but not prideful to have us as his family.



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