The word pride in itself isn't an important word but it's meaning implies many things. There are several different definitions for pride. Pride can be referred to as a type of plant, a form of body ornamentation, or even a group of lions. The most commonly used definition of pride is being proud, or having a feeling of great accomplishment and feeling self-satisfaction. The word pride both positive and negative meanings that can be seen throughout history.

In 1297AD, pride was described as "A consciousness or feeling of what is befitting or due to oneself or one's position, which prevents a person from doing what he considers to be beneath him or unworthy of him; esp. as a good quality, legitimate, ‘honest', or ‘proper pride', self-respect; also as a mistaken or misapplied feeling, ‘false pride'" (OED 4). This type of pride is personal pride and the image a person must maintain to keep it. A person cannot allow them self to act in such a way that would be demeaning. An example of this would be a drill sergeant getting down with his recruits and performing the same demeaning drills as they are. The sergeant's years of hard work and service would not be taken seriously if he were to lower himself to the level of their recruits therefore lowering his sense of pride.

Too much pride can lead to conceit or what we commonly call a big head. By 1340 AD, pride was comparable to arrogance. (OED 1) Later during the Middle Ages there were seven sins listed as the worst sins of all. They were called "the seven deadly sins". The first on the list was pride. Pride was believed to be "a high or overweening opinion of one's own qualities, attainments, or estate, which gives rise to a feeling and attitude of superiority over and contempt for others" (OED 2). This usage of the word pride gives it a negative cynical connotation, describing people as vain, arrogant or belittling other people. An example of this could be when someone famous thanks "all the little people" as seen as in movies and TV as a joke. They are suggesting that they are bigger or greater than others. Pride is not a negative trait to have if it doesn't get the best of you.

When instilled in the young, pride is a building block of a healthy self-esteem. This is important and necessary to promote a positive self-worth. A child needs to hear that he or she has done something well. Praise will reinforce positive characteristics and does not focus on limitations as it builds pride. He or she should be proud of what they have worked for. Winning a competition is not as important as doing one's best. When someone does their best they try and strive to do even better just winning sets limits. Without a healthy self-worth, the child feels inferior and shame. When a child feels proud of their accomplishments, they feel good about themself. This will encourage the child to continue to perform at his best. Praise for accomplishments fosters pride. Praise can come from a parent, friend, teacher, or even one self. It is also important to teach the child to value pride. If the child becomes conceited or arrogant as a result of their accomplishments, then pride becomes a negative trait. A thin line separates pride from arrogance. To value pride the child needs to understand humility, which is the opposite of pride.

Pride is how one measures their self-worth. One must keep in mind that to be proud and be worthy of praise, one must maintain a sense of humility. If a person becomes arrogant as a result of their pride, then they are guilty of the first of the seven deadly sins. One does not have to win to be proud pride comes from within. A person competes within them self, fueled by past accomplishments to excel at what they need to do. That's why pride is important.

Oxford English Dictionary (online)

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