PRIDE GOES BEFORE A FALL
Introduction: This proverb unleashes a great moral in the life of human being. It is, again, spun out of Aesop’s fable, entitled, “The Hare and The Tortoise” in which the fast-paced Hare challenged the slow moving tortoise in a race competition. The haughty hare was cocksure that the tortoise was no match to him and that he would win the race. Thus, equipped with over confidence, he slept over en route. Meanwhile, the tortoise had limped his way to victory. The hare eventually lost the race and was defeated.
Explanation: Dictionary clarifies that Pride means, the quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself. Reading between the lines, one can interpret in other words, that it is not only full of arrogance but also underestimating the talents of the others.
One can have self confidence. There is nothing wrong about it. But that doesn’t mean that the others are inferior. Everyone is capable in one aspect. The car that runs at high speed on the road cannot sail over the water like a boat, and vice versa. Nowadays even physically challenged people are called as, ‘Differently abled.’
To quote from Hindu mythology, the dogmatic king Hiranyakaushyap who had attained the power of boon that he would not get killed either by human or by beast, during day or night, or inside or outside his home, went on the rampage in the heaven too, claiming that he was the supreme God and that he be prayed. Thus he invited trouble and died a gruesome death. It was his pride that drove to him to his destiny.
To cite another example, Shakespeare’s, “As you like it” has a similar twist when the great wrestler who never tasted defeat in his lifetime until then as a professional wrestler, with full of arrogance, underestimated the hero, Orlando, of course, a lame man who finally gave a crushing defeat to him.
The 16th President of USA, Abraham Lincoln had said, “What kills the skunk is the publicity it gives itself.”
Many great leaders like Mahatma, Martin Luther King Jr. and others, who crusaded for a noble cause were humble, however, firm with their principles. And they achieved what a decade of war and blood shedding would never beget.
Conclusion: Pride is an enemy within. It takes centre stage in one’s mind all the time, scarcely giving time or room for analyzing the pros and cons of doing a thing.
The Great War genius, Napoleon Bonaparte who had conquered most of the countries at a very young age of 33, was blinded by his arrogance and pride that he entered into a war at Waterloo. That gave him a staggering blow. And he learned a lesson the hard way.
If so, how to amend one’s approach? It is by following the message to the human race given by Martin Luther King Jr.
He said, “We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.”