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Pride goeth before a fall

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on July 29, 2005

In Reply to: Pride goeth before a fall posted by Roy Rodieck on July 29, 2005

: question: "Pride goeth before a fall". Here's another angle on this that no one seems to have picked up on: Pride is not necessarily a bad thing in that it can be related to self-esteem and can be an elevating and energizing thing if not employed to excess. For example, take Esprit de Corps of a military unit. If something happens to deflate morale of the unit during a battle, they lose a psychological advantage that can lead to defeat. By the same token, an athlete that goes into a contest expecting to lose rather than win will probably lose. In both cases, loss of self-esteem (pride in their ability) goes before a fall. This seems at odds with the conventional wisdom as expressed here, or am I missing something?

"Pride goeth before a fall" is an elision of a Biblical quotation, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall". Pride is one of the traditional Seven Deadly Sins. Pride in this theological sense (in Latin "Superbia")is defined as "inordinate self-esteem or love of self", and the idea that God will administer a well-deserved comeuppance to the proud is one of the constant themes of the Bible - e.g. that line from the Magnificat, "He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts".

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