When compared with other people, we oftentimes see ourselves above the rest. When we do our self-evaluation, we highlight our strengths and the weaknesses of the competitions. We are being blinded by our own selves just so we could make ourselves believe that we are indeed better than anyone else.
Earlier today at The Feast Bay Area 3PM session, I got struck with the talk which tackles about our pride. It reminded me of the constant struggles that I have within myself. The talk just confirmed the pride that I've been feeding myself all this time. And that regardless of how much I try to force myself to believe that I'm humble enough to admit my imperfections, I still carry that pride in me. Why did I say so?
There were five symptoms mentioned by Bro. Adrian Panganiban in his talk 'Pride'. I made a mental checklist to see if I could be diagnosed with such and here is what I have figured out:
The first symptom that you have pride is that you always have conflicts. As Bro. Adrian puts it, conflict is normal unless you experience it regularly. If you often see yourself in conflict with other people on a regular basis, there could be something wrong in how you deal with them.
This first symptom brought me back to McDonald's Bustillos earlier last year. I was in a heated conversation with a fellow SFC (Singles for Christ). We were in the middle of a meeting for our then upcoming CLP (Christian Life Program). I was tasked to be the team head and that meeting was supposed to be a brainstorming.
While I was sharing my plans for that program, this brother seemed to be testing my patience. He opposed my suggestions but did not even bother to provide any options. He just said that my recommendations are not possible.
I managed to keep myself cool though you would know that I was fuming that time (this part of retelling may sound contradicting but as far I could remember, I tried to be composed all throughout the conversation). While it ended up fine, I have marked that day that this brother won't be getting the same friendly treatment from me. We could still talk but I'll always keep my guard up high when conversing with him
A couple of months after, I found myself in conflict this time with my new boss at work. She just got promoted to be our team lead and while I respect the management's decision that put her to that position, I just don't think that she deserved it. My other senior officers could've been a better fit. I just personally don't like her.
I thought she was rude, bossy and selfish. She didn't deserve to be a team lead because she didn't even know how to be a team player. And because I was so uninspired to go to work under her supervision, I ended up resigning.
And now under my new work, I found the male version of my former bossy newly promoted team lead. This person, however, is a fresh graduate but managed to intimidate me with how he talk to me. It's as if I was hired to be his subordinate. I never tried to befriend him after that moment.
All these three conflicts happened in less than a year in three different areas of my life.
The second symptom is you're always in a hurry. You try to be the best and successful the fastest way possible.
I started working at the age of 18. I was a working student. I didn't have to. I was a scholar and my family, I could say, could provide me the things that I needed. But I pursued being a working student because I want to experience how it is to earn your own money. Good thing I didn't stop in college. Had I stop studying, I wouldn't be getting this high paying job and would've been stuck answering calls from the other side of the planet (Please don't think that I'm degrading any call center agents here because I really don't.).
It takes a lot of hard work to get to the top. In order to be successful, you have to go through all the failures and pains that come with each downfalls. It's going to be tough and tiring but the journey, as you look back, is going to be worthy. You wouldn't know much until you actually experience life.So don't try to skip every single step. Learn to enjoy your journey!
The third symptom is your Christian life will always be a burden. This will happen when you live a double life - one face, you're a good servant, the other side, you're an unapologetic sinner.
When we're in a community like The Feast or SFC, you are being surrounded by people who are also serving the Lord and are assumed to be good people. But have you ever identified yourself when you're outside the community? Who are you in the office? At your own home? In school? Are you that same person that you claim to be when in the community versus that one when outside? Or are you living a double life?
I do. While I regularly share my service routines in social media, when I'm with my officemates or other colleagues, I tend to adjust my religious persona to match the personalities of the people around me. Imagine if you do this every single day, it would be really exhausting. That would make you realize that being a Christian is a burden. You'll start questioning things about your faith and embrace the convenience of living without thinking if it's still aligned with the teachings of your church.
The fourth symptom is you become judgmental. Have you ever experienced judging a person by his appearance and then realizing in the end that you misjudged him? I believe we all did. This is because we tend to rely more on our first impressions without knowing others well. Either we don't have much time to spend with these people and so we based our perceptions with them on how they appear to be on our end or we're just being selfish and just prefer not to know them more because they don't matter to us in the first place.
When we start judging other people without giving them a chance to show who they really are, we are being unfair. Because when we put ourselves in their shoes, I'm pretty sure we all don't want to be judged based on limited aspects. I too is guilty of this.
And lastly, when you stop growing where it counts, you are also harboring pride within you. Why do you have to be a show off? Why do you have to always announce your good deeds to the world?
When you become so obsessed with other people's attention, you are mainly trying to please them. You forget to see the value of the things you do to yourself.
Try to do good things without asking for anything in return. Help those in need without crediting yourself in public. A genuine helping heart appreciates heartwarming smiles better than public accolades.
By just going through this Pride Checklist, I got a perfect five out five. It's not surprising though because we all go through these things in life. We just have to learn how to apply humility even if it's really hard. Feeding our pride won't give us any peace of mind. At the end of the day, we all want to sleep soundly, right?