Pride Closes the Mind
By Apolinario Villalobos
Some people think that accepting the mistake they made is humiliating. They also think that people who give them advice are intruding into their intellectual domain. Worse, these same people who are buoyed by money and intoxicated by success think that they are above the rest of humanity…and, they just cannot imagine themselves looking back or looking down to where they came from. Blame pride, arrogance, conceit.
Self-esteem should be maintained despite material gains. But it should not be tainted with
pride. Moving on is part of life and those who gain by dint of hard work should compose themselves as successes are gained along the way. Studies show that one reason why some successful people refuse to look back or cut off their relationship with former colleagues is their fear that the latter would ask for a share of what they gained. These people not only refuse to look back but they also close their mind.
Those blinded with pride may not only move on, but up – climbing the ladder of society to find a new environment where they can move with ease, thanks to their new glittering trappings and money. Among newfound friends, they open themselves up. But since money is not everything in life and relationship with newfound friends is not deeply rooted, happiness is short-lived. As these people grow old they may realize that late parties, golfing with rich buddies, weekend jaunts to first class resorts, dinners in 5-star hotels, etc. have become boring. They start to long for childhood friends, relatives in barrios and slums. But they are ashamed to make a turnaround and trace back their steps to where they came from. And, since, they cannot bring along their wealth with them when they bid the world goodbye, their death could be lonely.
(I based this blog on the story of a couple who lives in an affluent village in Makati City, Philippines. Between the two, I could surmise that the wife should be blamed for their situation now. The wife is arrogant and obviously has the hand in all their affairs. Both of them came from Davao City where they also earned their bachelor’s degree from a prestigious Catholic educational institution in that city. They met in Manila while she was working as a secretary in a pharmaceutical firm and he was with a travel agency. After getting married, the wife resigned from her job and went into direct selling of beauty products which prospered. The husband also resigned from his job and joined his wife but expanded their line of products. They were blessed with 2 children. It was while they were enjoying the fruit of their hard work that they almost forgot about their families and friends back in Davao city. When at first, they were helping their respective family, later on they stopped, thinking that their families are milking them of their hard-earned money. Actually, the idea came from the wife who also said that those in Davao should also work hard like them (this bit of information was given to me by the husband, confidentially). In time, communication was cut off. Their two children are both in the United States now with their own families. With advancing age, he is 81 and she is 79, they are now full of regrets. I was referred to them by a friend as they want their “success” story written down into a book. But I suggested to them that for their story to have a happy ending, they should swallow their pride and go back to Davao to mend the broken relationship with their families which they did. But whether they did it with sincerity or not, I can never tell.)