The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind….
-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (via Notes From a Common-place Book)
One vice that I continually struggle with is pride. It has nothing to do with my amazing charisma, movie star good looks, or talent as a wordsmith (although all of those apply to me…just kidding). My pride has to do with the whole “I deserve better than that!” attitude. That attitude was on full display the last couple of weeks.
Around Christmastime, I was fed up with not getting replies to emails I had sent to various people, including anime distributors. Some companies, like FUNimation, have been very responsive to me; it doesn’t matter whether an organization replies yes or no – I simply appreciate an answer to an email or phone call. Another that has replied fairly well is Bandai Entertainment– and though I had no bone to pick with them, their demise made me think about how I can become frustrated with similar companies without knowing what’s happening on their end. For instance, if Bandai had not responded to my emails, well, there’s certainly reason – they have fewer employees than I imagined and are now going through an immensely difficult time. Knowing this now, I’m very grateful for past replies from the company.
The same could be said of my recent anime con experience. I worked with various staff members who each treated me differently. I became angry at one who didn’t respond quickly to an email, but then felt ashamed when I realized it was a mere accident and that he was going way out of his way to further assist me. Another treated me sort of as a pesky member of the press, while a final one seemed suspicious of my motives in requesting a guest interview. They were all fair in how they interacted with me, though I likely couldn’t see past my own inflated self-worth at the time to realize it.
Part of pride is that we, in a sense, think that the world revolves around us. We don’t stop to think about others – we’re unwilling to walk a mile in their shoes. Years ago, my wife (then girlfriend) fell down a flight of concrete stairs. Shortly afterward, I went driving to get her something to eat, but I was so flustered that at one point, I went down the wrong way of an unfamiliar street. Though it was only for a fraction of a second, I got rude gestures and angry horns directed toward me. Would they have been more patient if they knew that I wasn’t myself? Did they think of what I might be going through? Not likely – and neither would I have if I was in their situation.
The process of becoming a Christian can be defined as being the end of the self and the beginning of Christ living in us. And although one is justified when he or she accepts Christ as Savior, transformation is gradual and on-going. And so, I’m both saved and a horribly prideful man. But the rub is this – that my faith in action will make me less prideful year by year, day by day. And maybe one day, I’ll be the humble man I want to be.
- There’s Still Some Issues, But Bandai Shutting Down Is Not The Time For Panic (organizationasg.com)
- Bandai Restrospective (janaiblog.com)
- Emergency State of the Anime Union 2012 – Part II (thecajunsamurai.wordpress.com)