Pride and Humility

Religious-themed post ahead!

St. Augustine of Hippo is one of my favorite saints, not only because he was true to what he believed in, but because he was one of the greatest thinkers/philosophers of all time. Today is his feast day.

His most famous quote is probably Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo! (which roughly translates to “Oh Lord, give me chastity, but not yet!”), but I’m not going to talk about that quote. Instead, I’m going to talk about this one:

Humilitas homines sanctis angelis similes facit, et superbia ex angelis demones facit.

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

Part of pride is refusing help from others, especially when you really need it. By nature, humans are interdependent. We need each other to survive, and sometimes we may think we can do everything on our own, but it’s impossible. Each person has individual gifts and talents, and part of our purpose on earth is to share those gifts and talents with others.

Another part of pride is obviously arrogance. Lucifer was a good angel just like Gabriel or Michael, but his arrogance caused him to believe that he could compete with or be like God. He refused to be humble before God; thus, he and his followers “fell” from heaven.

Pride is the foremost of the Seven Deadly Sins. Putting others down, competing with others to gain power or an unfair advantage, and vanity are all symptoms of pride. Part of defeating pride and turning toward humility is the realization that all human beings are imperfect, including you. Even that person who seems to have the “perfect life” has his or her own struggles. All people on earth are equally deserving of love and respect.

In the Christian perspective, the first remedy to pridefulness is to give God the glory. Recognize that God is the source of your earthly power and the greatness that you have achieved in your life.