We have seen some great personalities in many fields rise from rags to riches. We have also seen many of them fall from the heights they have reached in their careers and in most of the cases the reason being they were unable to handle their success !! "Pride comes before a fall" is a universal Truth, is one of the deadliest sins and is a combination of many other sins put together. The others sins include greed, laziness, excessive sense indulgences, anger, selfishness, lust, fear and jealousy.
This cancerous, lethal and destructive quality of pride is perhaps more than any other negative quality has brought down more kingdoms, toppled more empires, caused more wars, destroyed more marriages, ruined a lot of friendships and ruined many businesses. The spirit of pride has to be be the absolute king of all the negative and destructive qualities that can enter into our personalities and no one is immune from it. As a good human being we should keep a sharp eye on that negative quality and be aware every moment and ensure that those destructive qualities do not rub on to our personalities or mindset.
There are 2 kinds of pride. Good pride and bad pride. Self respect, Self worth, delight at one's success or another's achievements, in moderate levels are acceptable and constitutes good pride. Conceit, vanity, exaggerated self esteem, inflated ego, i am the best attitude, boasting and high mindedness, haughty behavior from arrogance, self glorification, self admiration - all these constitute bad pride.
Many years back there was a haughty king who ruled a kingdom and the subjects were fearing his wrath caused by his excess pride. One day the king called his learned Minister and asked him," What is the work of God?" The Minister thought for a while and told him, " Your Majesty, the work of God is to create." The King was not pleased with his answer, he said," by tomorrow if you do not give a satisfactory reply your head will be severed." The Minister rued over the situation and was passing by a field in contemplation to get the answer. A farmer came from the paddy field where he was working and asked the Minister," Sir, what are you worrying about?" The Minister told his predicament. The farmer thought for a while and said," Please take me to the king and i will clear his doubts for sure." The next day the farmer was introduced to the king in his court. The king asked the farmer," Do you have the answer? if so, tell me now." The farmer bowed before the king and said," Your Majesty, can you come down from the throne, all of the 11 steps and i will tell you the answer." The king thought for a while and came down the 11 steps and was alongside the farmer and the Minister. The farmer quickly climbed the 11 steps and sat on the throne. The king was confused. He roared to the farmer who was occupying his position and asked him," what on earth are you doing?" The farmer said," Your Majesty, what was your question, can you ask it again?" The king was extremely angry but asked the same question he asked the Minister," What is God's work after he created the world." The farmer had a twinkle in his eye and explained to the king," As much as God creates and brings the best in people he also dislikes pride and vanity and brings down people who act so." God can bring down anyone in a matter of seconds. This is just an example and if you mend your ways there will be cooperation and harmony in our kingdom." He said,"Pride cometh before the fall." The king understood his folly and became a changed man and ruled his empire well. The king was lucky to have good advice. we might not be so lucky if we are not careful.
We all know about the Titanic the British passenger liner. On the 10'th of April 1912 the Titanic set sail from the port of Southampton in England to New York with 2224 people on board on its maiden voyage. The height of the ship was 175'. Amidst so much of hype and cheer from those who designed the ship, to the manufacturer, to its captain, its first officer, the crew, the passengers in the ship and all those who had come to cheer the ship on its maiden voyage were convinced that the ship was sturdy and could weather any storm or turbulence's in the sea thereby making it the most invincible ship on water. 5 days later the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg on the 15'th of April. More than 1500 people lost their lives from a ship which people thought was invincible !! There was so much pride built into everyone including the captain who thought that the ship would get past the iceberg without him having to change direction !! Pride happens before a fall.
In 1995 i bought a Contessa car. I was in a Bank one morning soon after buying the car told an officer there that i was going to Tirupati that afternoon. When he asked me how much time i would take to reach Tirupati, i said to him while the Ambassador and the Fiat would take 4 hours my Contessa car would take just 2 1/2 hours. We started around 3 pm from Madras and my car developed some fuel line problems and we had to call a mechanic from Madras to set it right, we reached Tirupati around midnight. A whole of more than 9 hours !!
We all know the music band called the Beatles, the English Rock band from Liverpool. John Lennon one of the musicians in the Beatles said, no one, even Christ is not as famous as us, so much of pride and exactly an year later they were gone...
Taneredo Neeves was the former Leader of Brazil.said," if i win 500,000 votes even God cannot shake me from being the First civilian President of Brazil. He did win the election after getting the 500,000 votes and he was to be sworn in as the President but died the day before the "swearing in" due to certain intestinal diseases.
The strength of pride must eventually surrender to the power of humility. Another perfect example of this has to be Saddam Hussein in Iraq. All he had to do was to let the UN inspectors complete the investigation of weapons of mass destruction which would never be found. He could have then easily retained full control of his corrupt empire. But pride got his way. He had to show the world that he could stand up and defy to the strongest countries in the world. When pride comes clarity of thinking goes for a toss. He lost his empire in just a matter of days. He literally went from the most lavish expensive quarters to the bottom of a hole in the ground. We are talking of someone falling from the highest mountain as the ruler of a big country to the lowest depths to which anyone can fall into life - behind the bars of a jail losing all his freedom, all his wealth and his family and friends.
In the whole of our short stay in this planet let us all refrain from getting pride come on our way. Pride is Spiritual cancer. It eats up the very possibility of love or contentment or common sense. Stay humble and accountable in your walk with the Lord.