The Difference Between Pride and Pride

This November the United States will be having its Presidential election. Here, each candidate for President chooses a running mate who potentially would become the next Vice President. Although technically there are more than the Democratic and Republican parties, realistically the next President will belong to one of these two groups. Donald Trump is the incumbent and his Vice President is Mike Pence. Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee and he has yet to pick a running mate. Stacey Abrams has made it known that she wants the job.

In 2018 she ran for Governor of Georgia. In her bid to become the first Black female governor of any state, she narrowly lost (by 1.5%) to the man whose office ran the state’s election. That feat is already amazing, but it is even more awesome considering that the state hasn’t had a governor from her party in the past 44 years. Her amazing race and momentous organizational efforts against voting disenfranchisement has cemented her visibility on the national stage. And she is hoping to parlay that popularity into being chosen as the Vice Presidential candidate and, eventually, elected President of the United States. She has not been shy about her aspirations.

That’s unusual though. No matter what nation you are from, chances are you are familiar with the subtlety of politics. Backroom deals are made quietly out of public view. Ambitions are implied but rarely stated forthrightly, so as not to tip one’s hand. This system seems to have worked in the favor of many past politicians. It’s not coincidental that 44 of the past 45 US Presidents and all of the Vice Presidents share the demographics of a group for whom the strategy of subtlety works well. But as Ms. Abrams, a 46 year old Black woman noted, such strategies are not often advantageous for individuals – like herself – who don’t fit that mold. In a recent interview she flatly stated, "As a woman of color, as a black woman, as a person of color, I cannot be shy about my response, because any hint that I don't think I'm qualified, that I don't think we can is used as a justification for saying that we can't."

What Ms. Abrams explains is really the double-edged sword of being a woman – and particularly a woman of color. We extol humility as a virtue – as well we should. This is especially common in Christian communities. We often talk about the evils of pride. We discourage it by quoting Proverbs 16:8 that “pride comes before the destruction.” We recount how Lucifer’s pride and jealousy were the causes of the discord and eventual war in Heaven. Pride obviously has no place in the heart of a Christian. But “pride” can mean “haughtiness” and “pride” can also mean recognizing your worth. Rarely do we make the distinction between being “stuck up” and being certain. Sometimes in our effort to discourage the first we also extinguish the second. And it appears that women are often the ones who get penalized for our collective inability to tell the difference.

We preach that Christians are to use their talents (Luke 19:11-27), express their spiritual gifts (I Corinthians 12), and remember that they are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) in the Image of God (Genesis 1:27). Yet if women overtly recognize any of these things within themselves, we chastise them for not exercising meekness. Women who know, think, or desire to be externally attractive are often chided for not understanding that beauty comes from the heart. The truth is there’s no sin in accentuating both. And if God gives us skills to be used, it’s ok to acknowledge that we have those skills. It’s fine to raise your hand to say that you’re in possession of knowledge or expertise that can be valuable.

Right about now, someone may quote Proverbs 27:2 stating that we ought to let others do that acknowledgement for us. Folks may contend that our gifts will make room for us. And for some demographics of people, it’s perfectly fine to simply wait to be noticed. However for women, especially women of color, silence often means getting ignored or passed over altogether.

There is a fine line. After all, being a self assured man comes off as confident. Being a self assured woman is arrogant. So speaking up and making herself known can potentially sound cocky. But presenting as demure can be perceived as uncertain. Women are trained to “make themselves smaller” so others won’t be intimidated or uncomfortable. They can diminish themselves to the point of invisibility. With these two dichotomies, it seems like a no-win situation.

Even in situations where she may know more, women are often expected to defer to others. I read “Meek”’s account of her interaction with a history professor at Andrews with a tremendous amount of empathy. Already being in the role of student during a disagreement can be intimidating. So being truly heard during this conversation was already going to be a challenge. But this was compounded by being a woman of color, whose voices are often dismissed. Although I wasn’t there, based on my familiarity with this particular professor from my time as an undergrad, the account of the interaction rings true. And her struggle to have her valid point about race relations be heard and understood was always going to be an uphill battle. It’s difficult to explain the existence of this constant pushback to those who, not only may never experience it themselves, but who may unknowingly be the source of much of it towards others.

Not long ago, in a discussion about health disparities, a pastoral colleague noted that he disagreed with me based on his “extensive” anecdotes gathered talking to people during his side gig as an Uber driver. The fact that I actually conducted professional scientific research on this subject was entirely inconsequential. He suggested I “humble” myself to learn from his perspective (yes, those were his actual words). The idea that the work, points of view, and lived experiences of some groups are frequently trivialized is the result of implicit biases that permeate the culture – even Christian culture. Pointing this out often sets off a defensive bristle. There may be a desire to spiritualize and dismiss these points. But it is simply reality that the voices of some are often drowned out. And when they speak up to be noticed over the fray, they are told that they are being too loud.

While it’s appropriate to emphasize the example of Christ’s humility, let us also note that Christ did not deny Who He was. Again and again He asserted that He was the Son of God because He knew it was true. The leaders of His day clearly didn’t enjoy hearing those claims. And they were enraged that Christ had the audacity to state what was factual (John 8:48-59). But Christ knew the truth, knew His identity, and refused to shy away from that certainty to make others feel less uncomfortable. In our communities – especially our faith communities – we need to let women of all ethnic backgrounds know that it’s acceptable to speak up and that their voices will be listened to (they may just know what they’re talking about). We want them to use their talents and to let it be known when they are qualified for the job. It’s fine to assert themselves and it’s ok to take up space and not diminish themselves or feign uncertainty to make others more comfortable. In essence, it’s alright to be proud.

Courtney Ray, MDiv, PhD is a clinical psychologist and ordained minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Previous Spectrum columns by Courtney Ray can be found at:

https://spectrummagazine.org/author/courtney-ray

Image Credit: Unsplash.com

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/10418
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Amen! Research has shown that women with the same ‘qualities’ of men in both work place and politics are looked at with suspicion. One only needs to listen the negative comments about HC and NP to understand that the negativity has to do with two sets of rules. We have seen it the church setting for a long time and it continues.

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My mother theratened me with double binds : Be meek and humble and let the others be , what they desire, you just do as Chrtist did - - socially get us out of the SDA ghetto, that is what God has assignet you for.

Well, the one of the top colleges in Vienna - it just was the nex toour home. I just was fascinated, I wanted to really konw Greek and Latin - and had a talent for laguages - not for Mathematics !

OK, study Medicine - we as SDA need it- - - And I did my studies , also eager to acquire a good theoretical / philosophical backgrund (“Wise guy, he thinks he s something better, WE just lern for the next exam, not one word more !”) Then internship - passed into tenure : My only attempt was to manage the overnight and weekend duties, because the one with this horrible job was tolerated to be in the hospital according to his preferences . ( have Sabbath with communion servive free for instance). And then the colleagues said :Well, he did his job, a suggestion : We vote for him as the Hospitals physicians representative, according to KAG. OK. Then some said :Well done, we invite him to be candidate for the Labor Union - So I had a postion in there for the local Hospital (1 000 employees) and the Central Comitee for all Vienna hospitals - - - both were simply and plainly political positions with quite some power and networking and influence - and privileges ! (Mothers double binds heavy on my shoulders !)

Inbetween I have learned in some Sensitivity Labs and other experimental group experiences, that - as one said , "You put your candle under the bushel, but eagerly seek to let it be seen by everybody ! ( Matth. 5 : 15) " - How true !

But my mothers double binds accompanied my career !

*By the way : She, born 1909 as a ministers daughter, always said, would she also have a daughter, the girl would get the chances equal to those I had ! - - Do I take a look on SDA membership it would be justified to educate women - sorry to say - for a singles life, fostering and honoring all their abilities to make the best possible for them out of it in giving them the chance to do so .

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[quote=“spectrumbot, post:1, topic:20135”]
oe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee and he has yet to pick a running mate. Stacey Abrams has made it known that she wants the job.

In 2018 she ran for Governor of Georgia. In her bid to become the first Black female governor of any state, she narrowly lost (by 1.5%) to the man whose office ran the state’s election. That feat is already amazing, but it is even more awesome considering that the state hasn’t had a governor from her party in the past 44 years
[/quote

It is a bit ironic that the article starts with the success of a Democratic woman of color, but seems to indicate that the church and many people do not accept such folk. How the devil then was she able to nearly unseat a white man in a state that had not had a Dem for 44 years?

Did I miss something here?

Bidens VP pick is more criticial when you take into account that he is showing signs of dimentia and may not end up serving a full term if elected. I wouldn’t vote for him anyway, no matter who he picks. I think Biden is dead wrong stating ahead of time that is going to pick a woman. He automatically disqualified all men. Just think what the outcry would be if he said he was only going to pick a man. John McCain surprised everyone when he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008. He never announced what sex or race his VP choice would be beforehand. That’s the way it should be.

Quite frankly, I am more apt to disqualify a person as fit to be president or VP, if they use their race or sex as a wedge issue. While I didn’t vote for Obama, i do think that it was to his credit that he did not make race a wedge issue. On the other hand Hillary Clinton strutted around as the queen of the hen house, until she got knocked off the roost by a bragadero rooster named Donald Trump, who thinks he’s cock-o-the-walk. Fried chicken anyone?

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Yes, you missed something. Somethings! She’s Brilliant. Educated. Polished. Accomplished. Seasoned. Knowledgeable. Energized. Young. Well=Spoken. Alert. Knows B.S. when she hears it. Concise. Breviloquent. Pithy. Succinct. Witty. Gracious.

There, that ought to keep you for awhile @ajshhep.

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I have a fair vocabulary, and did not no that. same meaning as concise. Nice

In a few more weeks, the state of Georgia will probably see a huge increase in Covid 19 deaths because they have opened everything up. The Georgia electorate may have second thoughts about electing who they did. I hate to see all those people die, but it might help people extract their heads.

It would also be ironic if both Trump and Pence contract the virus since they both have people close to them that have been infected and their both in the vulnerable age bracket… I wonder if they would get preferential treatment? Then we might end up with President Pelosi. Talk about an interesting turn of events.

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Now don’t give me something to have nightmares, Lindy. Now that would be worse than a coup if Pelosi became the first woman POTUS. IMO she is worst than the wicked witch in the movie The Wizard of Oz.

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Please do not mingle up a / one specific persons questionable show - biz talents and stimulate the vision of future with her in a no, one specific - political position : The Thread is about pride <<´>><< pride ! the ones being - or playing or being educated to - meek and humble existence, whispering insrtead of speaking, neither right nor wrong decisions - are at best helping hands - in every position.

Which signs, please.

That’s always your problem Allen… :laughing: :innocent:

Good sample of “good vocabulary,” Allen…
I just learned a new verb in English, “to no” …
:innocent: :innocent:

Yes, there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel… :+1: :+1: :innocent:

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i’ve thought the same thing, actually…it’s simply reckless the way trump carries on in public…i recently saw him and melania on TV, talking to a line up of 90-yr old veterans, less than 3 ft from them - and the wind was blowing from them directly into these veterans’ faces…i really hope nothing happens to these poor veterans…

i think trump’s evident disdain for masks is deplorable…in his position, both he and melania could set an example that many others would follow…they could make it trendy…melania, in particular, could make a statement by wearing masks…but maybe trump thinks she’d look too muslim in a mask…

here in calgary, masks are definitely the thing…aside from boxes of surgical masks - i know people with direct access to warehouses in china - i have a gorgeous peacock blue mask, with all kinds of modern designs, for which i’ve received numerous compliments…a friend made it for me, and she’s made custom masks for all of her other friends…i even have a leopard mask, and a zebra mask, that i’ve ordered online…there are so many different kinds of masks now…

Amen.
“South Korea, Taiwan, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand, and Norway have all had commendable success in protecting their people. Could it be by chance that seven out of eight of the most successful nations in combating the COVID-19 pandemic are headed by women? Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, Mette Frederiksen of Denmark, Sanni Marin of Finland, Angela Merkel of Germany, Katrín Jakobsdóttir of Iceland, Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, and Erna Solberg of Norway have all been described in similar terms: as calm, confident, and compassionate leaders. All of them have been commended for thorough preparations, quick decisive action, and clear, empathic communication.”

“What seems anachronistic in this critical time is the presence in leadership posts of so many self-aggrandizing, sociopathic male autocrats: Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Viktor Orbán of Hungary, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Donald Trump of the United States, and more. Faced with the pandemic, none of these “powerful” men had a clue. They encountered an invader that could not be bullied, bribed, banished, or bombed. And for their ignorance and vanity, the people pay (and pay and pay).”

The above quotes are from the following article, IMHO, well worth reading:

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Absent in these hubristic attempts is any reason.
One need only look at the H2N2 '57 virus (116,000 American deaaths) or the H3N2 '68 (over 100,000 deaths) to recognize two things-the death rate was almost a magnitude higher, yet no lockdown, and second, whoever was president then is not applied the wannabe albatross 'round their necks. The previous admins 6 month delay (and 20,000 deaths) prior to any federal reaction ought be recognized in the same way that your conjectures

Neither of these two points are facts-they purely political hack delusional desires thrown on the fire, but oh well, it would likely be truth if unenlightened people wouldn’t keep bringing up history and actual facts.

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Obviously, neither you nor I know what will happen in a few days after Georgia opens up. But we’ll wait and see. The difference between the other two viruses you mentioned is that we had some idea how to deal with them. This one is completely unknown. I doubt that they used the term “novel” to describe the other two events. The only way we have had up until recently to keep people from dying form this virus was to make sure they didn’t catch it. The only solution for that was social distancing. I was alive through both of those other cases you mentioned and I never heard of our hospital facilities being completely overrun with sick patients. But you go right ahead and shake every hand and make sure you visit a nail salon along with a barber ship. I’ll stay home.

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You picked the high number. I looked at several articles and they said it was most likely 69,000 dead in this country. It also went from the spring of 57 to the spring of 58. Most of the deaths were in the 2nd wave. They also determined that a vaccine for earlier stains of the virus gave some protection against the H2N2. They also were able to treat people who had a severe case with antibiotics. Something that didn’t seem to be effective in this pandemic. I was 13 years old when this virus hit, and I don’t remember much being said in the news about it…but of course, I wasn’t paying much attention to the news at that age. Over the period of time that this virus was effecting the country, if we extrapolated Covid 19, we might get numbers over four or five times that many deaths. And, with yet, no proven treatment. The, no treatment, is the operative words here. When people are dying and you have nothing to offer other than forcing air into their lungs, you have a serious problem.

You just keep trying to minimize this pandemic…I’m sure that will help us all.

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Why lump me in your conjectures? Yet you gleefully also report prescience regarding your first conjecture “may” result in voter remorse.

Really? 60 years ago-what did we know-and do-back then?
And we have less knowledge now? This makes no sense whatsoever.

Again, you are making an unsubstantiated statement.
I’ve read of numerous treatment modalities-including certain nutraceutical vitamins and minerals, cheap generic drugs. When the mantra being chanted is “VACCINE, VACCINE our only hope” and lockdown of a nation until then I sense strongly that the truth is quarantined successfully, for now.

Again, unsupported. The good ship Comfort, virtually unused, all the field hospitals, likewise also largely unused.

Gee what a nice sentiment. I’m a healthcare worker-i’ve been bitten by HIV positive patient, had inmates through HBV/HCV bodyfluids in my face, .performed manual CPR on actively exsanguinating GS victims, worked ER triage where you have no idea whats coming at you. I’m well aware how to protect myself-and remained seronegative despite all these and other hazards.

Unfortunately, quarantining, an entire population and then projecting fluid, inexact, manipulable data fear and panic news on the entire nation seems to have worked.

And hey, lets have “Dr Cuomo” first say NY won’t lockdown, refuses to buy offered vents for the state, while he then shuts off chloroquine for the state AND SENDS CV19 infected patients TO NURSING HOMES.

And lets ignore that Fauci released NIH research in 2005 strongly suggestive of chloroquine efficacy-prophylactically and curatively-but keeps talking “fsast track vaccine”. Really amazing-can’t claim we “know nothing about this new virus” but then be on “fast track” with a previously patented vaccine.

Problem is we have failed to treat this virus medically-in order to fight it politically.
Second-“Dr Cuomo” reports social distancing questions-despite adhering to state lockdown orders, some 66% of the new infections are acquired WITHIN the lockdown. The other secret? Fully one third of US counties HAVE NO CV 19 cases!

Doesn’t take much logic and reason to recognize the current narrative is needful of examination. Unfortunately, the groomed emotive response to the stimulus seems to inhibit logic, reason, truth. Hate is really effective at this.

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George, do you really need it explained to you. Some of the rambling and disconnected answers he gives sometimes, clearly demonstrate he’s losing it. Like while giving a speech in Vermont, he says he’s glad to be in New Hampshire. There are many others instances, too many to individually cite.

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