‘Vanity is my favorite sin’ – Al Pacino
This is a quote which interests me so much every time I come across it. Al Pacino clearly knows self admiration is an unprincipled behavior. Yet he loves doing it anyway.He knows he is still an imperfect man with lots of flaws but the level of his self love is beyond those limits.
We can see many Al Pacinos in our everyday life. Most of us are personas with lots of insecurities within us but settled behind our secure mask of pride. I was once a person who was very proud to be proud until I came across the psychological theory between the big boss Insecurity and Pride. Those people who keeps their head high, bragging and parading like they are the master of the world. Pity the proud! They maybe the most insecure people you ever meet in your life.
Pride and ego are the twin sisters. People might give different definitions for pride and ego. I myself never had problem with proud people. They might have some stuff in them which are proud to be held, so there should be nothing wrong with being proud.
But in reality, they are living a life under the knife edge. It is the virtual knife edge which they created themselves. They are the people constantly evaluating their motto as ‘World doesn’t care about how many goals did they prevented but only the goals they have missed’ End result, they are too proud to admit their mistakes. Tell your teacher that he/she has wronged in front of the class, there would be dramatic reaction and scrutinization from the teacher before realizing the mistake(if at all the realization happens). Those proud people are not rare breeds that come from Mars. Those kind of people form the most common in the world. We might even see the shades of those proud people in our very own self.
Ego is another thing we have in our consciousness all the time. It prevents us from doing a certain thing and ceases us to be the real us. We might go out of our way to preserve it. We have concerns about how we appear to others, how others may perceive our actions, or fear that we might be standing away from what is considered to be not a socially accepted behavior.
As long as we were kids, we were the little emperors in our little kingdom. Our parents were the only royals. We were the cute, the mighty, the beautiful, whatever we wanted – inside the four walls. Those dreams started to shake and shatter when we started growing up and faced the real world. We started to realize maybe we were not as best as we have thought! No, that must be something outrageous. We could not come down from our throne. We still wanted to stay inside those cozy walls so we were convinced that we are still the best, the perfect ones. When we see that someone is contradicting our opinion, that old monster fear begins to peek outside, our pride gets wounded.
We were too hesitant to go and talk to our colleague who bashed us in the last conference. He might have been your good friend, someone who helped you a lot in the past. But still our pride says he hath no right to contradict us. Again our Insecurity is the culprit.
If we were really confident in what we were doing we would not need a second or third person’s opinion. But we do seek the confirmation of others. We like to be praised either directly or indirectly in all our activities. This indicates nothing but our insecurity. If we don’t get what we expected, our pride gets wounded.
I don’t think there is a way to win over our insecurities. Our little fearful-friend crosses our mind on a routine basis whether we want it or not. Our fear for failure keeps us motivated to work. But we must make sure it does not consume our whole self in its fire. The most we can do is, to be aware of when our mind starts to think about those negative thoughts, know what makes us behave in a certain way which we don’t do otherwise in normal situations. In that way we can get hold of our thoughts, be in a position to control when it exceeds the limits. Let our old bad friend play around for awhile but when we think that his play-time is getting over, tie his legs in the rope and put him backside your mind. I hope everyone must be able to do this when they start to consider about it. Cheerios!