Is Pride A Teachable Skill?

“That’s pride fucking with you. Fuck pride.” -M. Wallace

Is pride a teachable skill? If so, how do you teach someone to have pride. Not too much pride. All of us should be able to agree that an excess of pride is a bad thing or at least annoying. How do you teach or show someone to have enough pride? Pride in themselves. Pride in their work. Pride in anything related to them.

Pride leads to taking responsibility. Pride leads to trying harder-taking leaps of faith. At least for me. Pride in my work pushes me to do the next thing better. Pride is important because being proud of something demonstrates that you cared enough to try. Even if everything is wrong, that you took pride in what you did says a lot about you as a person.

Thus, I come back to, is pride a teachable skill? I have been pondering this for 10 weeks or is it 11 weeks now, why some of the students I am in class with who have the skills, have the training, and have the education keep phoning in their work, their attitude, their…well everything. Funny thing is, if I had been asked before the semester started would I be feeling this way about these people, my answer would have been “No way. They have what they need to do good work.” Alas, I do not feel that way now. Honestly, I am only working this out here because this is an interesting topic to me, in regards to my children, not these students-they made their bed or grave and now they have to deal with the mess or hole they dug. Will or do my children have pride in themselves and what they do? Did they learn pride from their parents or somewhere else or a combination? Do or should I be showing them more pride?

I have heard, “I have pride in my work and I did my best,” but when push comes to shove the blame game and excuses start flowing like a river. Is it possible for people who blame the world and have an excuse for everything to take responsibility?  Could they learn to stand tall before the man, and say in a clear, loud, and proud voice, “I DID THIS. I ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT IS BEFORE YOU AND WHAT THAT SAYS ABOUT ME!”

I know I can. I have. I did that long before I got here. I have pride. My pride is not faux pride or bravado. I take my lumps, I learn from my lumps, and I do not make excuses. I am proud of the work I do and myself. Now, is that teachable?




3 thoughts on “Is Pride A Teachable Skill?

  1. It is teachable – you can instill pride in someone who sorely lacks it. It was taught to us as children and when we’re parents, we teach it our children and, importantly, we reinforce that to be too prideful is a bad thing… but it is important to one’s self- esteem to have a decent and healthy dose of pride.


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