I want to learn all I can, live as wisely as I can, and savor every moment on the journey.
“People are proud only when they have something to lose, and humble when they have something to gain.”
– Henry James, The American
Interesting, but not sure I agree with the pride part. I have a few very good things I have accomplished, and I feel proud of them. I don’t see how I can lose them – some were done over 40 years ago! I don’t think I feel excessive pride, not boasting pride, just an internal pride that warms me in dark moments.
Good point, Emilie. But I think James is only using the word to mean pride in a negative sense—arrogance, haughtiness, smugness, etc. I think “pride” in the positive sense is pretty much a modern use of the word, and personally I think it would be better served by more specific terms like “satisfaction,” “confidence,” “self-esteem,” “identity,” and so forth, for clarity’s sake.
You may be interested to read my musings on pride in a larger sense here: http://abringerofnewthings.com/2013/09/30/is-pride-good-or-bad/
Reblogged this on awakenings of the heart and commented:
I absolutely love-love-love this quote. I have felt, to my core, this truth in this past year as my world of chaos continues to churn. To embrace humility in all of it’s truest forms, embracing the good with the bad, would be nothing short of amazing.
(Posted on CotnoirSA’s blog in reply to her reblog)
Thanks for reblogging! I came across that quote while reading The American, which I thought was only a so-so story, but that line jumped out at me as making the whole read worth it. It’s such an eloquent summary of human nature!
Also, I agree with you about the life-changing power of humility. I’m looking at your Goodreads list as I write this, and I am jealous; I want to read all of those books. I know they’ll contain wisdom to point you to the path of true spirit humility—not for gain with others, but for peace in life.
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