Now, pride is one of humanity's responses that is most widely, and most easily abused in my opinion. However, like all things, it has a place. I for example, have enough pride to choke a horse, as the old saying goes. I have learned that it is best not to try and dispute that fact, as it means fighting against myself. Instead, I have l;earned how to use that pride for good. Just bear with me. The incident that led me being mostly deaf in my left ear, was a significant point in my life. A robber was holding up the bar that I was in, I was content to lay back ad just let him take the money. So was everyone else, and the robber sensed this. In fact, after his initial shout of "everyone, hands behind your heads!" he rarely pointed his firearm at anyone. Instead preferring to keep it pointed in the air, so everyone could see it. But after an off duty cop decided to brandish his own weapon, which jammed upon firing a single round that missed, which lead to him being shot six times (he survived) It was pride that forced me to cover the woman next to me on the floor with my body. It was pride that forced me to keep my head up and eyes open, to observe what was happening, while the bullets were flying. It was pride that forced me to get up and move, to insure that a bystander who suffered a close call (the bullet impacted the wall, right next to her head, a few inches away) was in fact, alright. The robber actually tracked me with his gun, but he did not fire, in fact, I saw something akin to remorse in his eyes as he turned away, and covered the rest of the room as I did this.
It was pride that encouraged me to run to nearly everyone in the room who was at the time, incapable of dealing with the situation (shock is a funny thing) it was pride that literally forced me to stand at the door after the robber had ran away in order to make sure the people inside had an advanced warning if he or any of his friends decided to come back. It was pride that did not allow me to fear for my own life, as well as a good deal of the fight or flight response. It was pride that allowed me to provide a detailed report to the police, accounting for everything I had seen. It was pride that made me stay my tongue as the wounded off duty police officer was carried out on a stretcher. IT was only after the fact that I was made aware that I had done all of this, without thinking, that made me crack open a bottle of whiskey from the bar and drink more than I should have to calm my nerves.
Pride is such a funny thing. It is easily abused and manipulated. And in truth, is one of our species' greatest faults. But like all things, it has its place in this world. What sort of man would I have been if I had curled up in a corner, and had refused to acknowledge the reality of the situation around me? Pride, properly used, can lead to honest and good actions, with honest and good intentions. It is a wonderful motivator, despite the fact that it can be so easily turned against us.
The moral of the story is, no matter how negative something is, that we humans do, believe it or not, it has it's own place. It is a part of us, and thus is part of the natural order of the world. As we are born from nature. Anger, jealousy, lust, wrath... these are all things that many religions almost wholly choose to ignore. But as Buddhists, I believe that the proper way to go about things is to not accept ot reject them, but to simply accept them as part of our existence. To observe them as they rise and fall in our own minds. The question where and why they came about. Ignoring them, can only lead to more harm. Please accept them as part of who you are. Only then do I believe, can you move forward in this regard.