On Pride and Conscious Praise

Dear quarter lives,

We were often told as children to be wary of pride, for it is a sin, a danger to be too proud. Humility, that is true grace. And as children, all we wanted was attention. We wanted to be recognised for the good we have done and be forgotten for the bad we have committed. It seems though to have been the other way round in reality. Parents are quick to forget the good children do, taking for granted that any action should be a good one, a moral one, so we have developed this indifference to good. Yet when it comes to the bad, parents seem to be almost in a hurry to punish and shame their kids. They seem so certain about the dimensions of evil and all that it encompasses. They warn them of evil people, evil things, even evil thoughts and ideas. But it is this constant attention they give to evil that lures them in. Children are smart and quickly realise parents are too busy to notice everything, but they seem to give a great deal of importance and time to their kids when something goes wrong, and so they begin to consciously or unconsciously orchestrate mishaps for attention. In today’s world of busy people and seemingly less and not enough time, attention is a hot currency not just amongst kids but adults too. Whatever and whoever can capture people’s attention becomes like a god, even if for a moment and every minute seems to be able to house an infinite number of gods and with attention spans growing shorter and shorter, you really have to be outrageous to get people to notice you.

So be conscious of your time. Be conscious of where your attention goes and where it stays. Give conscious praise when it is due, and be conscious of unconscious criticisms. I say to all doers of good, if indifference is the kind of attention you get from people, then it is your duty to be proud. It is your duty to recognise and acknowledge the good you have done. For all doers of good, it is a crime against humanity to be humble, for we are telling ourselves that it is just okay to be good, it is bla to have done good, and that isn’t the message we want to send to ourselves. And we wonder why we keep on making the same mistakes. Habit might be part of it but habit is always reinforced by something. And here my friends the culprit of bad habits is attention. When we overeat for example, we suddenly become attentive to ourselves, we decide we’re not going to overeat tomorrow, we have long conversations with ourselves about not overeating again, but when we eat just the right amount of food, we go by our day like nothing happened, like eating just the right amount of food wasn’t enough to garner our attention. And so not so long after, we find ourselves eating a candy bar or eating too much, and attention comes rushing in again towards ourselves. Our bodies cannot differentiate between right and wrong. There is no code of ethics engrained in our DNA like there is in our societies. And just like a child wanting attention, our bodies crave attention, and our souls too. And the only way they seem to be getting any is when they do the wrong thing, so they do it again, and again, and again.

So you see my friends, we must shed these cloaks of morality, and look beyond to see what we feed ourselves. A body and soul that is well fed in terms of attention does not go around begging for love and attention from other people, for what it truly wants is your own attention. The highest quality food you can give your soul is your own attention; anything outside of that is just inorganic. So dear quarter lives, be proud, be conscious and most importantly give yourselves conscious praise, for there is no greater love your soul needs than your own. Be proud with honesty, be genuinely proud because if you fake pride, if you gift pride to a body or soul that has done nothing, then nothing is what you are reinforcing. Soon this mountain built on nothing will collapse unto itself and you will be exposed. Therefore, the danger is not from pride itself but from dishonesty. It is not only fake pride that we should steer away from, but fake all things. Unlike deceiving other people, it is almost impossible to deceive your own self. What most people do when they think they have managed to deceive their bodies is faking that they have faked it. But it’s all there inside of us. No good or bad, just truth.